Author Archives: equinescience
Exercise therapy is accepted in human therapeutic as one of the most efficient therapy. Exercise therapy exists in equine; it is the Science of Motion®. Many talk about therapy in motion but are not valid because the fundamental problem is that to be effective, exercise therapy demands to adjust riding and training techniques to actual knowledge. Half-pass executed through traditional equitation will not rehabilitate a horse form the sacroiliac problem. Viewed from the Science of Motion® approach, the coordination of the horse’s physique allowing the horse to benefit from the move, half-pass develops and coordinates the muscular system of the horse’s thoracic spine and consequent flexion of the thoracolumbar spine. In many instances, Sacroiliac strain originates from dysfunction of the horse thoracolumbar spine. While the conventional approach focuses on the lesion, the Science of Motion® approach corrects the source of the kinematics abnormality stressing the joint.
The online horse training course is actually the experience of applying the knowledge from the studies in real life. The course supports the student in their application of the studies through the forum where direct access to JLC and his students are given for the purpose of answering questions and evaluating the applied work through videos posted.
Therapy in motion is not a complement to static therapies; it is the next generation of therapy/ It has to be done in motion as muscles tendons, fascia, do not work under the principle of release and relaxation but instead nuances in tone. It is a response to forces and forces are internal, limbs actions and external, gravity, inertia, and movements, including riders. Motion is also necessary at the level of the nervous system. Motion therapy is the next step. JLC https://www.scienceofmotion.com/documents/in_hand_dressage_therapy_courses.html
Starts Feb 8th.
cost is $125. USD
“There is always light if only we are brave enough to see it. If only we are brave enough to be it.” (Amanda Gorman. The hill we climb)
Courage is not being brave enough to do it even if we know that it will hurt. Stupidity is the same thing. Bravura is giving to the horse the athletic ability to perform at ease and pain-free. One needs to be brave enough to climb the hill of tradition. The belief that the way it was done is more important than the way it could be done applying advanced knowledge.
We need to be brave enough to see how the horse’s body functions in the light of actual knowledge. We need to be brave enough to ride in respect of actual knowledge. The darkness tries to swallow new knowledge because tradition is not about the horse’s effortlessness and soundness; tradition is about ego. We know it is right, even if it was created when the understanding of equine locomotion and body function was in its infancy.
We can ride in the light. We can be it; we have the knowledge, and most of us have the skill to ride in respect of the way the horse’s physique actually functions. The second 2021 science of motion’s forum is “Lightness.” It is the light; it is the most advanced explanation of lightness in the light of tensegrity, physical intelligence, synergies, elastic energy. We need to be brave enough to take conscience of the uphill battle that the horse is fighting because of erroneous beliefs. Lightness is not the bit. Lightness is not achieved shifting the weight backward. Lightness is not achieved increasing the load on the hind legs. If one cannot take more, one should stay in the darkness of traditional thinking. Suppose one is brave enough to value their achievements on the ability to efficiently prepare the horse for the athletic demand of lightness. In that case, one should enter the lightness forum, which will start the second week of February.
The “Lightness Forum” commences with a large document, including illustrations and videos, and the discussion will go chapter by chapter on the new understanding of lightness.
Jean Luc Cornille
Contact email@example.com to sign up.
tensegrity and physical intelligence.
We are not talking about the half pirouette presented in the dressage ring, where the hind legs mark the steps but remain almost on the same spot. From the perspective of equine physical education, the move is without interest. We are talking about the large pirouette or half-pass on the circle that we practice at the Science of Motion.
Going right, half pass on a circle or large pirouette commences with the engagement and light adduction of the outside hind leg. The left hind leg creates the propulsive force that is going to be converted through the muscles of the thoracolumbar column into right lateral bending, coupled rotation, and displacement of the shoulders to the right. The right hind leg moves forward, but as the shoulders and the body move to the right, the inside hind leg advances under the body in a position of support. The position of the right hind leg advanced under the body is likely to increase the intensity and duration of the decelerating phase. This is how a large pirouette or half pass on a circle enhances balance control.
However, the horse has many ways to avoid the greater decelerating activity of the inside hind leg. Slight acceleration of the body or a shift of the weight over the forelegs could easily cancel the greater decelerating activity of the inside hind leg. Acceleration of shift of the body weight is more likely to be perceived by the rider’s body than the hands. The horse cans easily accelerate the motion or shift the weight on the forehand and neck without increasing the contact on the bit. This is why limiting lightness to the contact on the bit is a false understanding of lightness. The rider’s response has to be at the level of the body tone, influencing the horse’s back muscles instead of the hands. As soon as one feels the slight acceleration or shift of the horse’s body, one needs to adjust tensegrity or body tone to the horse reaction. Eventually, one might feel a slight increase in contact on the bit. The fingers should not cut the contact but instead filter it, informing the mind about adjusting the tone of the rider’s body. The key is harmonic tensegrity, a tone of the rider’s body matching the horse’s tensegrity, and allowing to feel nuances as soon as variation in the nuance starts. Going from relaxation to an adequate tone is too slow.
This is a fundamental evolution from the equitation of the correct aids. Gestures can be made without an appropriate tone. In his book, “Physical Intelligence,” Scott Grafton explains that the body is capable of reactions and almost “thoughts” more sophisticated than anything possible through manipulations and gestures. The body and the mind guide each other through life. To be effective, the equitation needs to rise at the level of subtle nuances in muscle tone. During the large pirouette, tensegrity allows the rider to feel and control light acceleration of the horse’s body before the horse body effectively accelerates. Tensegrity and subtle nuances in muscle tone, keep the conversation on the decelerating activity of the inside hind leg. At this level of conversation, the gymnastic is effective. If it takes one stride or two for the rider to feel the acceleration, it is too late, and the half pass on the circle does not increase the duration and intensity of the inside hind leg’s decelerating phase.
If one thinks, “I don’t feel it,” it is not because one lacks perception; it is because the conditions rendering the perception accurate, are not created. Improper tensegrity, too much or not enough, numbs the perception. The whole mental processing has to evolve. The body and the mind guide each other. The mind creates the conditions allowing the body to explore beyond average. If the horse does not feel the rider’s leg, the horse does not need more pressure of the rider’s leg. The horse needs a better analysis of the rider, figuring the dysfunction hampering the engagement of the horse’s hind leg.
The frequency is another element of success or lack of success. The rider needs to feel the acceleration before it starts as an increase or decrease of the tone has to be done at the horse frequency. An increase or decrease of the tone executed quicker than the horse’s frequency stimulates a protective reaction. Before the body accelerates, the horse increases the propulsive activity of the supporting hind leg. The horse also stiffens a little the thoracolumbar spine muscles. The rider cans feel the changes before the body accelerates or the weight shifts over the forelegs or on the neck. The rider can then progressively and adequately adjust the body tone.
Many have the skill of riding efficiently. The problem is not the lack of skill; the problem is the crudeness of traditional equitation. One learns formulas, the theoretical effect of the shoulder in or half pass, and believes that repeating the move educates the horse’s body. The horse is willing but protects his dysfunction instinctively. It belongs to the rider to understand the athletic demand of the movement and entertain a conversation guiding the horse mind toward efficient use of the horse’s physique.
“For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.” (Thich Nhat Hanh) For one, to ride at the level of one’s skill and the horse’s intelligence, it is necessary to converse with the horse within the space between stimulus and response.
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“If, instead, we believe the horse is disobedient, lazy, crazy, etc., our minds will be the soil in which our horses are buried.”Jean Luc Cornille
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
Everybody says that it is because other training techniques are wrong. My observation is not related to any specific approach. If it was not an issue, I would not even address it as it is a subject of high emotions. The fact is that it is an issue. Many of these approaches are good for their purpose, the problems start when they enter the dynamic relation between the horse and the rider. Harmonic tensegrity is a dynamic interaction between the horse and the rider. The video of half pass with the numerous arrows illustrating the forces interacting between the horse and the rider is made to make riders understand that it is too fast for feedback correction. There is a tone that the rider has to find, very light and fitting the horse. It is harmonic tensegrity. Most often the rider just maintains the tone and the horse feels it and realign himself with the rider. It is dynamic and mutual responses. Harmonic tensegrity is different from each horse and even evolves with the same horse. During the last two strides of the video. When Chazot orchestrates his physique efficiently the duration, frequency and intensity of the forces interacting between us were different than during the previous strides where he worked to find efficiency. Lightness is not the bit. Lightness is the result of absolute coordination between the horse and the rider where the interaction of forces occurs at a very subtle level. JLC.
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“I believe that there are two categories of ecuyers. Those who while skilled, use the horse as a tool, and those who love him and allow him to express the brilliance of which he is capable.
The former are not less expert than the latter. During dressage test they may even triumph although never taking the risk of making mistake when the opportunity to yield with the hands occurs and lightness presents itself. The later always risk being the damned poets of this art. They are misunderstood by the masses of riders who cannot distinguish between the means used by the former and those of the later.
Only the latter enjoy the true pleasure of feeling how a creature collaborates without constraint, as a friend.” (Nuno Olivera)
In the same line of thought, Albert Einstein emphasized value over success. In the early seventies, the late Commandant Durand, who later become Colonel and then General, delighted the spectators of the “Grand Parquet” with his jumping courses Durand teamed with a horse name Pitou. The Grand Parquet is very famous a show jumping place at Fontainebleau in France. Years earlier, Pitou was the winner of Three-day Event Individual Olympic gold medal of Bromont (Canada) with Jean Jacques Gillion. Pitou started a second career in show jumping with his new partner, Commandant Durand. Durand was very well known for the beauty of his stadium jumping courses. He was a delight to watch; the discretion of his rebalancing. The subtle adjustment of the take off stride, the fluidity of the course. Each jump was a demonstration. It was like a dressage freestyle over the jumps.
It was the jump off and Durand approached the last jump. The distance was a little long and Durand rebalanced the horse finding the perfect take off place. He cleared the jump and passed the finish line half a second slower than his opponent. I was watching next to the coach of the French jumping team and the coach commented, “Damned poet; he could have taken the long stride. The horse is powerful enough to make it and he would have won.” He would have won but he would have placed the horse in front of an unfair challenge. I kept my thoughts for myself but looking around, I saw a new dimension of the conflict that was in my mind. Competitors criticized Durand for choosing value over success. He was admired and criticized for been an artist more than a competitor. The jumping coach did not want Durand on the team because the career of a jumping coach relies on successes, but the blinders were full of peoples appreciating the value over the success. As soon as Durand entered the course everyone came to watch knowing that it will be beautiful. As competitors, we are slave of success; We believe that success is what spectators expect from us and we push our horses beyond their limits. Applauding the winner is part of the norm, the next day, spectators don’t even remember who was the winner, but as competitor we believe, or want to believe that the applauds are personally directed to us. Durand offered respect for the horse. He took the risk of giving to his horse the liberty of adding his style to the accuracy of the performance. He was a poet indeed and a damned good one.
I was at this time assisting the French Tree day Event National coach, riding and training world class and Olympic horses. We were applying fancy techniques making the horses do it, the team veterinarian checked every day how the horses withstood the training program, but it was no in depth analysis of how the performances challenged the horses’ physique and how we could specifically develop and coordinate each horse’s physique for the athletic demand of the performance. We believed in the efficiency of what we were doing but earlier as a young gymnast, I experienced the difference between a regional coach focusing on the problem and a more advanced coach focusing the source of the problem. I had difficulties with the landing of the summersault and the regional coach focused on the landing. I did not progress starting to think that I was not good enough. The better coach instead, analyzed my difficulty and identified the root cause, which was an imbalance in my back muscles. The national coach did not let me practice the move as I was using wrong muscles and developed instead a gymnastic program correcting my back muscles imbalance. Once he felt that my back was functional. The coach let me try the summersault and I landed perfectly square. I expected the same level of analysis with equine athletes but both, training and therapeutic concerns were about the problem but not the source of the kinematics abnormality causing the lesion or the soreness.
I dreamed that one could be a winning poet. I wanted to win but I totally agreed with Colonel Margot when he told me, “There is no glory in a victory gained at the expenses of the horse’s soundness.”
Equine researches were at this time in their infancy, but it was already pertinent thoughts. Richard Tucker suggested that it was the back muscles that lifted the back instead of the abdominal muscles, the core, as commonly emphasized. “An initial thrust on the column is translated into a series of predominantly vertical and horizontal forces which diminish progressively as they pass from one vertebrae to the next”. (Richard Tucker-1964). It was obvious that abdominal muscles could not create the sophisticated coordination of the back muscles converting the thrust generated by the hind legs into horizontal and vertical forces. Shortening the horse lower line could only create an overall flexion of the horse thoracolumbar spine. I always have found this traditional explanation overly simplistic; The flexibility of the whole thoracolumbar spine is not even; vertebrae situated in the cranial thoracic vertebrae have twelve articular facets while vertebrae situated further back only have six articular surfaces, Lateral bending occurs within the ninth and sixteenth thoracic vertebrae, transversal rotation is located mostly between the ninth and fourteenth thoracic vertebrae, etc. It never appeared accurate that such a diversity of motions could be precisely orchestrated form a contraction of the abdominal and pectoral muscles. The thought that such refinement was made by the back muscles was more in line with the anatomy of the equine back.
The problem is that conventional riding principles promoted concept such as shifts of the rider weight that were in contradiction with the construction and setting of the back muscles and therefore ineffective in creating subtle muscular coordination. It was then necessary to reconsider the teaching of our predecessors in the light of new knowledge. As I further understood how the horse physique effectively functions, it became more and more difficult to combine value and success. Techniques that I had successfully applied for success were no longer acceptable from the perspective of ethic and value as they did not prepare efficiently the horse physique for the athletic demand of the performance. These techniques were making the horse do it but failed to provide adequate muscular development and orchestration. Even worse, some of these techniques induced damaging stresses on the vertebral column and limbs joints.
I came to the realization that even if I believed that I loved the horses, what I was doing, and have been trained to believe, was about loving to win more than loving the horse. It was a crisis; my business demanded that I won, or at the less I was brain washed to believe it. General Durand proved otherwise. He had a successful career placing respect of the horse and therefore value above success. I decided that using the horse as a tool was not a way I wanted to live my equestrian life. I decided that I will not make the horse do it but instead I will further study how the horse physique effectively functions and, damned poet, I will never ask a movement without giving first to the horse the athletic development and coordination allowing expression of the athlete’s full potential and style and soundness.
Interestingly, the percentage of success did not diminish. Some judges did not like it, but the ones with greater experience and sound intuition did. The soundness was a major result. Horses remained sound, performing better and for a longer period of time. The problem was to explain. It was no doubt that many riders had the intuition and the skill and the will to further their equitation but all the words had already been used for the wrong feeling, the wrong coordination, the wrong meaning and the wrong picture. When I was using the term “collection” I was thinking about proper education of the back muscles but the word was understood according to the definition promoted in the training pyramid and other schools. The solution was explaining the practical application of advanced research studies through a clear explanation of the way the horse physique effectively functions.
The ones who want continue to believe in simplistic and false theories such as stretching and relaxation, will continue to believe in stretching and relaxation even if the horse body functions at the level of subtle nuances in muscle tone instead of lack of muscle tone. They confound equitation and religion. They want that the horse embrace their faith instead of questioning their faith in the light of factual documentation of test analysis, which is Linus Paulin’s definition of science. Those are the formers. The later instead, upgrade the wisdom of our ancestors to actual knowledge and enjoy the true pleasure of feeling how a creature collaborates without constraint, as a friend. Jean Luc Cornille