All horses have natural asymmetries, and some may also have unnatural asymmetries that are caused by stabling, lack of movement, use, training, and/or injuries. These don’t necessarily cause any problems for the horse; in fact, some of them are rather useful in the horse’s daily life. But if we want to ride a horse and keep it healthy in the long term, it is our responsibility to balance these asymmetries out by teaching our horse to carry itself in an effective and healthy way. By doing so, the added weight of a rider and the strain of any unnatural work we ask of them don’t exaggerate these asymmetries and lead to injury and/or deterioration.
Straightness Training is a very effective way of achieving this balance in which we teach the horse to move in a healthy posture and strengthen and supple its hind legs. This is accomplished through a series of logical and progressive exercises started from the ground, so the horse can build its own balance, suppleness, and strength before being asked to carry a rider. Find out more about Straightness Training in the About Straightness Training section.
As body, mind, emotions, and spirit are all closely connected, bringing the horse’s body into balance also has a balancing effect on their mind, emotions and spirit and vice versa, given other factors in the horse’s life, like stabling, turnout, social life, diet, movement, enrichment, etc., are in accordance with the horse’s needs.