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  • Writer's pictureKristie Cotton


I used to refer to horses that were misbehaved as fixing ” problem horses ” I absolutely love to help horses and their owners find a safe, trusting relationship. Now that I have furthered my education with a class named Science of Motion, I refer to this retraining as rehabilitation. Horses have the most amazing defense mechanisms which have helped them to evolve. Most horses will turn their emotions off, ” shutting down ” so they can deal with a circumstance that may be causing discomfort. Even something as simple as poor saddle fitting.This starts with one small problem but then the shutting down of emotions leads to wrong muscle movement which leads to compensation, etc etc. As most horse owners find out, purchasing that new saddle, did not fix the problem. Why? because once the horse begins to use muscles incorrectly causing abnormal movement to protect themselves from pain, they have created a muscle memory that they cannot delete by themselves. Massage and chiropractic are helpful to the horse until he walks away or is ridden again. The horses mind and muscle memory need to be re educated. The popular method’s of forcing the horse into a frame that rider’s believe is a shortcut to a ” supple, obedient ” horse is only a shortcut to lameness. More and more horse owner’s are feeling discouraged by the time they spend riding their horse, always seeming to be a job, not an enjoyment. It’s important to educate yourself as a rider, know the physique of the horse and how he needs to be properly prepared for the demands of Dressage movements, jumping, or even heading down the mountain with a western saddle. Empathy, not submission is the foundation for any relationship.

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