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  • Writer's pictureKristie Cotton

Evaluation of difficult behavior

I assess the horses overall health, well – being , and their physique. Incorrect muscling is a good start to knowing the horse is moving abnormally. Evaluating a horse for physical and behavioral problems takes not only skill, knowledge, and experience, but also empathy and an owners’s willingness to think outside the ” box ”

Understanding the horses physiology and learning to promote functional anatomy is the first step in re- educating your horse. There are no set ” rules ” that you have to follow to have a successful relationship with your horse. You do need to understand how to properly coordinate your horses mind and body for it to become a happy functional athlete or partner. If your desire is to learn from someone that only has ribbons and awards to prove their knowledge, you are staying in the ” box “

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Horse world has become a place of judgement, a place of overlooking what is actually causing your horses behavior or lameness issues. A place of religiously searching for that one method or trainer that can create the relationship you so desire with your horse, that light and balanced movement that seems absolutely unattainable. Horse owners need to stop and listen to any intuition they may have regarding the training work they are doing with their horse. It’s important to include your veterinarian in these behavior concerns if they are interfering with the well being of your horse.                              There will slowly be behavior signs, warning of pain long before the actual lameness will show up, or, instead of lameness, the horses behavior will escalate to dangerous.

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Forcing a horse in a position because we are told to or it will win us a ribbon is not a path to a successful relationship. Riders are spending so much of their quality time with their horse practicing what they think the finished picture looks like, not understanding the damaging effects rushing forward and forcing head down places on the kinematics of the horses movement. It’s a discouraging path to take for horse and rider.  Obtaining a correct outline that provides physical and mental comfort is a great foundation to start a willing partnership.


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          Leadership when resumed to submission is handicapping to horses mind as well as their spirit. The best leadership for the horse is knowledge. (Jean Luc Cornille )


Pure joy in developing a partnership

The same goes for the student of a trainer that is forced to believe they can never attain an understanding of the higher level of movements without an expensive big moving horse. Movement is always a benefactor in judging standards but attaining correct biomechanics for any discipline is the best reward you can get. The next few blogs will journal the before and after success stories of each horse using the knowledge I attained by completing the Science of Motion therapy class.

“The authority pleasing, question suppressing, rule following approach is wasting the athletic abilities of talented horses and gifted riders.”  –Well said, Jean Luc Cornille

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