Methods of communicating

25 Feb

This is part of a conversation going on in the private forum of the science of motion online course, IHTC)
You are right; the old methods of communicating with the horse don’t work. They don’t work because they are based on an antiquated understanding of the horse’s motion and perception. In terms of the motion, classical equitation does not know that most of the length change required for the work of locomotion, occurs not in the muscle fibers themselves but by elastic recoil of the associated tendons and muscles aponeurosis. They remain at the level of stimulus-response when the evolution of knowledge demonstrates that it is about creating situations, such as the horse’s natural cadence allowing the horse to explore more sophisticated use of storage and reuse of elastic energy. The communication through the correct aids is like shooting words to the horse and expecting that the horse will construct the whole sentence. We are no longer there. It is a game of tensegrity where nuances in muscle tone are the language. The main lesson of understanding the fascia is that the horse’s physique functions as a whole and therefore the rider’s language cannot be limited to a few words and formulas and body parts. The integrity of the rider’s physique is the only way the nuances in muscle tone can make sense to the horse. Not one part, but the whole body altogether. The work in hand is a great way to take the measure of the very high perception of the horse. The adjustments of our body that the horse feels, when the conditions are proper, is very light. It is even surprising that they can be aware of such subtle nuances. Just for that, the work in hand is a great practice as it opens us to the realization that the horse’s perception is far more sophisticated than anything written or even suggested so far. Of course, I am talking about the work in hand as we do it at the science of motion. The gimmicks promoted everywhere with the reins and the whip are just circus tricks. Take your time to learn, as there is a lot to know and experience. It is a fascinating journey where we became aware of the unsophistication and even crudeness of the traditional views and how much we, as a rider and the horse as a partner, can communicate and work together at a very sophisticated level. Jean Luc Cornille


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