The horse is not naturally built to carry weight. Therefore, if we want to sit on it as a rider, we need to prepare the horse to carry us properly. This is done through dressage, with straightness training as an essential part of it.
Every horse is naturally asymmetrical. Just like every human, every horse is left- or right handed, both in the front legs and the hind legs. Also, the horse is bent to the left or right in its body and it carries more weight on the front legs than on the hind legs. This causes an uneven distribution of the weight over the four legs. When the rider does not recognize and correct this imbalance, this can lead to problems. The goal of straightness training is to develop the horse symmetrically in body and limbs.
Straightness training consists of a series of gymnastic exercises for the horse in which it learns to stretch, to tense and to relax its muscles. This makes the horse fit, supple, strong and muscular so it can carry the rider more easily.
Straightness training during dressage makes the horse symmetrical in body and limbs. It also develops the horse’s balance and divides the weight equally over all four legs. By straightening the horse, we enable it to carry the rider properly. Also, well thought through gymnastic exercises keep the horse fit as a riding horse until old age.
For which horse is it suitable?
All horses and ponies, untrained, experienced or even with a problematic background, can be schooled following the steps of straightness training.
The goal of the gymnastic education within straightness training is for the rider to reach a perfect harmony with his or her horse. Well thought-through gymnastic exercises make the horse able to perform as a riding horse until a very high age. Because of the logically structured exercises, horse and rider are trained according to his possibilities and talents, both physically and mentally, towards a level that is comfortable for both.
What are the benefits of straightness training for you and your horse?
- You will learn to train within a logical system of well thought-through gymnastic exercises and you will develop yourself to become the personal fitness trainer of your horse.
- You will be able to develop your horse from a horse with (riding) problems towards a soft, cooperative riding horse.
- You will get more insight in how riding problems are created, and learn to fix and prevent these problems. Because of the clear structured system, you will always have a good basic work to fall back on and to help you find the solutions to whatever riding problems you might encounter.
- With straightness training basics as physiotherapy, you can reduce and prevent back problems and strain injuries in your horse.
- And from that you can take it another step forward: You can develop your horse’s talents to their maximum.
- Your horse will develop physically: it will become more supple and easier to maneuver, it will become stronger and will reach more bending in its hindquarter/haunches, and will be easier and lighter to collect.
- Your horse will develop mentally and emotionally: your horse will become stronger, more self-assured and will scare less easily. Your horse will become more loyal and affectionate towards you, and will show less resistance and stress.
- Your horse will develop spiritually: he will be the best horse he can be, he will feels his inner calm strenght, his pride and unique, authentic self.
- And of course also the rider will develop psysically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually to become the best rider and trainer s/he can be!
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