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Book Image Not Available
Book details
  • Genre:PETS
  • SubGenre:Horses / Riding
  • Language:English
  • Pages:100
  • eBook ISBN:9781618427175

Biomechanics of Horse Training

by Jean M. Kirschman

Book Image Not Available
Overview
The object of biomechanical training is to produce correct posture which will give us pure gaits. All horses can benefit from learning correct body mechanics and can develop into an athlete that is beautiful and strong. The way to improve the gaits is to get the horse to use correct horizontal posture which also gives us correct basics
Description
This training manual is designed to help those riders who are struggling with a horse that has been ridden or trained using the wrong muscles. This manual is not so much a dressage manual but is for horses that have been taught stop, go, turn left, and turn right and halt. In addition he needs to be able to understand that the outside rein determines the direction of travel. If he does not have this understanding then this is the first thing we teach the horse. A horse’s balance changes as he moves, so we as riders must be aware of what the hind end, or engine, is doing. When we develop the engine, we develop the horse’s balance and we get the power of the horse. The hind legs need to come well under the horse to support, lift and power the horse forward. Much like a car when its tires are equally inflated, a horse will run better when he is balanced. All four limbs on a horse that has developed shock absorbing capabilities (think inflated tire) will have a fluid and balanced motion developing his self carriage. Self carriage has been described as feeling like a power boat; when the engine is powered up the nose of the boat comes out of the water. The object of biomechanical training is to produce correct posture which will give us pure gaits. All horses can benefit from learning correct body mechanics and can develop into an athlete that is beautiful and strong. The way to improve the gaits is to get the horse to use correct horizontal posture which also gives us correct basics.
About the author
Jean Kirschman is a freelance dressage instructor who specializes in biomechanics in the training of horses. After graduating from South Dakota State University with a BS in Animal Science in 1979, Jean pioneered a riding program at Sioux Falls College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In 1983, she took on a new challenge…Jean built and managed the first indoor riding facility in the area. Over the years, Jean has coached young riders to state championships in Hunter Seat Equitation and Western Equitation. Under Jean’s leadership, a number of her students have been recruited for college equestrian teams. Jean is an accomplished competitor and judge in horse shows. Starting in 1999, she began collecting blue ribbons with regular wins up to fourth level dressage on her horse Mariachi. Jean’s love for what she does began as a young girl. At 13, Jean, who grew up in the heart of “cowgirl country” in South Dakota, was fortunate to take riding lessons from one of the last-living U.S. cavalry riders, Gene Skidmore. Under his tutelage, her passion for horses grew. Early on in the development of her career with horses, Jean rode Hunters. In 1983, she made the switch to dressage after watching just one lesson with Hilda Gurney (America’s first Olympic medalist). With this, she was truly hooked, and doing bending lines and exercises to build the horse’s strength is the precursor to what Jean does today. Jean’s career has also been strongly influenced by working with some of the best clinicians around, including Ray Hunt (one of America’s first Horse Whisperers). Jean still continues to live by Ray‘s mantra, “make the right things easy and the wrong things hard.” Over the years, she has also worked with many leading international riders and coaches including Jeff Ashton Moore, Elaine Banfield, Christine Traurig, and Kathleen Raine. According to Jean, the greatest “teacher” she has had the privilege of knowing is Trendy Ashwood, her current mount who she describes as her greatest challenge. As a young horse, Ashwood was so sensitive that the slightest movement in the saddle made him buck. So began her process of learning to communicate with a difficult horse and mastering the proper body mechanics of the horse. Jean knows this sport can be physically and mentally challenging for both the horse and rider. Jean sees herself as a coach for the horse…and a motivator for the rider. Striving to bring out the enjoyment of the dance, Jean always encourages the horse to bounce like a baby and the rider to feel the buoyancy of the movements. Today, Jean lives in central Minnesota and travels around the region coaching. As time permits she still competes with Trendy Ashwood.
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