Free 3 doors in the horse …
When explaining to my riders how a rider should ride or work a horse, I like to use one of my simple metaphors: The Metaphor of Free 3 doors in the horse.
Imagine that a horse has 3 doors in three very crucial parts of his body:
- 1st door lies behind his jaw around the pole area, close to the first neck vertebra (atlas-axis area)
- 2nd door lies where the horse has his neck base, low under the withers, inside his chest between shoulders (around 7th cervical vertebra and 1st thoracic vertebra)
- 3rd door is in the point where horse’s hindquarter connects to his core (around last lumbar vertebra, lumbo-sacral joint, pelvis)
If any of these doors are closed, half open or even locked then the energy from behind cannot flow through and take the rider and the horse supply, forward within the movement.
If any of these doors are closed, half open or even locked for a long time, the horse compensates with other parts of the body to satisfy the rider’s demands to move in a certain frame. And thus it comes to health problems. The horse starts to build up wrong muscles, his asymmetry becomes more pronounced, “mouth” problems arise, instead of using his back to move, he uses his legs. All this leads to lameness, back problems or behavioural issues.
To open these doors you need to have the right keys: knowledge, feeling and practice. With some horses it is much easier to open them. It depends mostly on their constitution, talents and character. But experiences that they had with humans (starting, training) play a big role, too.
Soon I will post some pictures that, in my opinion, are good examples of horses that worked with all three doors open, keep tuned 😉 …