Educate your eye photos showing correct and incorrect shoulder in of the horse
Helyn Cornille's insight:
Even if the concept of rotation associated with lateral bending has been clearly explained in 1999 with Jean Marie Denoix’s magisterial work, the concept remains foreign to judging standards and most training techniques. The concept is important to know; proper or inverted rotation is often the difference between good and poor performance as well as soundness or limbs injuries and back issues. In practically all the rehabilitations that we have completed, the subject of inverted rotation was part of the problem.
I was on the top of the world. I was ready to sign lucrative contracts with sponsors. I was considering a date with Brigit Bardot. I just won the dressage test of a major three day event selection trial. Adding spice to the victory, the president of the jury was Colonel Margot. My horse was a phenomenal athlete. He was one of the best horses that I ever had the privilege to ride and train. He was great in dressage, fast on the cross country course and respectful on the stadium jumping. However, he did all that with a marked rigidity on the right side of his thoracolumbar spine. I have tried everything that I knew to supple him. I worked hours and hours on circles and shoulder in. Many high level riders came at the Fontainebleau Olympic center for training and I discussed about my difficulties with many of them. Some rode my horse, others helped me working my horse but not one could figure the source of the difficulty. “He does have some rigidity on the right side but I can’t put my finger on where the problem comes from. It does not feel like it is due to lateral bending but it is related to lateral bending. Truly I don’t know.” They all added, “You should not worry too much; he wins all the time.” Effectively, we have won five of the six competitions that we entered. I covered up the rigidity during the dressage test and the thought that I might have lured the most acute judge in the world was quite sweet.
Simplicity sells well. This is why many trainers never explore beyond superficial training techniques. Very few have a sound understanding of the underlying biomechanics factors. The problem is that without knowledge and understandings of these underlying biomechanics factors, dressage movements screw the horse. The term “Dressage” is used in this discussion as a French word meaning “education,” whatever is or will be the horse specialty. Education is about educating the athlete’s physique and therefore teaching muscles by muscles the body coordination optimally adapted for the athletic demand of the performances.
He restored soundness by correcting the back muscles imbalance causing the spine torsion
Helyn Cornille's insight:
”It was actually the horse that offered this choice first.”
(Claudine Erpelding Braga)
You know the routine. He comes in the barn, spends a few minutes with each of us and serves us breakfast. Then, as we eat, he reads his e-mails. This morning, one comment caught his attention. He looked at me with a large smile saying, “you need to read that.” I can’t read but I can follow his mind when he reads. It was a question asked on the forum of the online course. “At the end of the IHTC 2 Navicular segment you discuss Dominique's inverted rotation on bend left. You decide to address it thru shoulder-in right instead of shoulder-in left. I'm trying to figure out why. On the model, the correction from lowering the haunch in shoulder-in left is very clear.” (Karen Young) He really liked the question. They have designed the online course on the belief that most riders are intelligent peoples and advanced, pertinent and extensive explanations can teach riders, trainers and therapist how to analyze and therefore resolve horses’ difficulties. The question was appropriate; the problem presented on the DVD could effectively have been resolved, at the least theoretically, by using the left shoulder in. It was a rational analysis and perfectly logical thought. Then, he was absolutely delighted by the comment of another member of the course. “It was actually the horse that offered this choice first. When realizing which 'auto correction' the horse seems having figured out first, it is a matter of efficiency for the rider to start there.” (Claudine Erpelding Braga)
This was exactly what happened and listening to what us horses try to tell you, is an absolute perquisite for successful rehabilitations. I never meet Dominique but he has let in his mind a great deal of respect and dear memories. Dominique suffered from a severe case of navicular syndrome and the source of the kinematics abnormality causing excessive pressure between the distal sesamoid bone and the deep digital flexor tendon was a spastic scoliosis that kept the thoracic vertebrae laterally bend to the left. The lateral bending was then coupled with an inverted rotation shifting the dorsal spines to the right. As a result, excessive weight loaded the right front limb which adapted to the load through a kinematics abnormality causing intense pressure between the navicular bone and the deep digital flexor tendon.
Once I was asked to help an autistic child riding a horse. The horse was a mare that someone in the stable graciously loan for the session. The autistic child was non-verbal with the reputation of having violent impulses of anger. In fact two male nurses came with the child and stayed in the ring to eventually “protect” me. The child had the facial expression of the grumpy cat, very intense an introverted. Once he was on the saddle, I placed myself in front of the mare for control and also because the only way we could communicate was body language. I did on the ground what I was expecting him to do in the saddle. I lifted my upper body opening my chest and he mimicked me. The mare responded immediately slowing her walk and coordinating her back. The facial expression of the child changed instantly. His grumpy face turned into a large smile. I was thinking, in fact he does have a beautiful face. His eyes were now wide open and their expression were like a language. He looked at me, looked at the horse incredibly happy that she felt him and responded positively and wondering if I saw it. The session became an astounding event. I faced right inviting him to turn right and he was ecstatic to feel the mare turning with him. I looked at the mare and she was very concentrated on the child and perfectly at ease. The child experimented right turn, left turn, halt, looking at me with an expression of total happiness. They were so much in tune with each other than I let them play just staying in front of the mare in case of possible reaction. The child was having a body or energy conversation with the mare. At times, he looked at me fo
When I came in America, I was very surprised to realize that the airs above the ground were regarded as the high end of the high school. They are not and they are never meant to be. The high school is about higher level dressage movements creating higher elevation of the gaits such as Passage, Piaff and also dressage movements demanding higher level of balance control such as Canter Pirouette, Tempi Changes, etc. The airs above the grounds are a special branch which have been created first to entertain the nobles and later, when the military took over, they perpetuated the practice of the airs above the ground to develop the riders’ skill. In fact, the training of the airs above the ground is more like a circus trick that what is referred to as academic equitation.
Often, riders and trainers who cannot evolve, find refuge into conventional beliefs as irrefutable proof. “He does not believe in half halt.” He laughs about this one thinking, “If they knew a little further, they would not too.”
The major problem that the horse has. The major problem that all terrestrial animals have. The major work that they do throughout their live is resisting gravity. Resisting the accelerations of gravity which tend to drive them down to earth.’” (James R. R
t was what we call a “straight forward jump.” Well built, massive, no technical difficulty. As we approached, I did not take the jump seriously, I was thinking, why they put jumps that simple on our way. However, the horse was fast. It was the same horse that the one in the previous story. It was just earlier in his career as it was his first three day event Intermediary level. At four strides I realized that the takeoff stride was long but I did not respected the jump. At three strides I woke up taking conscience that the stride was really too long. At two strides I did a “professional” half halt knowing that we had to add a short stride. He did not like it.
Another time, it was a jumping competition named “La Puissance”. It is usually a single jump, most of the time a wall, that is raised higher and higher until no once can clear it. The bricks wall was at 6feet 3. I saw at four strides that we were aiming for the perfect take off spot and I went for it. My horse responded energetically. The balance was perfect, we were having a great momentum but, without any warning, my horse slammed the brakes at the last second. His nose knocked down the upper element of the wall which fell on the other side. Concerned by complains of his jumps crew team, the course designer had ordered a lighter construction where each element of the bricks wall was made like a frame with no bottom part. It was basically like an empty box. I was not expecting this brutal halt and I flew through the horse neck and fell. The course designer went on the other side of the wall to see if I was OK, I was not there. I fell inside the wall. The course designer knocked the wall with his folded fingers asking, “Are you OK?” I told him yes but I am upside down and I can’t move. The wall was like a drum amplifying the noises. I can hear first a discreet laugh which rapidly turned into a hysterical laugh. I can hear him laughing so hard that he could barely articulate his words telling me, “Don’t move; we are going to liberate you.”
They removed the upper element of the brick wall and my feet appeared. Now the noise turned into
Injuries are caused by bad luck, fatigue, and stress, but, most of all, by faulty technique.” Boni Rietveld is an orthopaedic surgeon who devoted his professional life entirely to the prevention, diagnostics, and treatment of dancers’ and musicians’ injuries. Analogies between humans and equines have to be approached with extreme caution as there are considerable differences between human and equine physiology and neurophysiology. However, as well as for dancers and musicians, the main cause of horses’ injuries is faulty techniques.
Should we apply their principles at the letter knowing that their understanding of the horse physique was not the functioning of the equine physique exposed by advanced research studies, or should we update their teaching to actual knowledge of the equine physiology. This is a no-brainer and a fascinating journey. Indeed, horses are amazing creatures and understanding how their body works is a startling journey. You will change the way you seat; you will change the way you think but as you evolve from obedience to cues to a direct conversation with the horse brain, you will also change the orders. The master is the horse. He is the master in your mind and in your heart and you are the Maestro that creates and works with the master. Jean Luc
There is a fundamental difference between a skilled rider and a master. A skilled rider makes the horse execute movements. A master gives to the horse the athletic ability to perform the move soundly and at its utmost potential
“The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.” (Arthur C. Clarke) As well, the only way of discovering your horse full potential is to venture beyond the limits of traditional thinking. Jean Luc Cornil
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