Additional Explanations - ForTheHorse

Additional Explanations

THEMES IN OUR PROGRAM:

Developing the Lift, where the horse raises her sternum, withers, and the base of the neck.  

An example of this is when working on the Shoulder-in Diagonal Movement Sequence, you may experience a loss of the spirally stabilized gait noticable by an escape sideways by overbending at the base of her neck and allowing the energy to escape out her right shoulder.  Without the correct Spiral, the horse cannot Lift.  The suggested solution was to add the Spinal Spiral Movement Sequence to help re-engage the horse's Spiral.  This sequence is:

• Poll sequence

• Counterbend (Head swirl toward the right shoulder)

• True bend (Head swirl toward left shoulder)

The outcome we are looking for from the Spinal Spiral Movement Sequence is resumption of a spirally stabilized gait.  Once this is achieved, and if needed, one could then help a horse with her emotional response by moving into the Coming Through Walk Movement Sequence (while maintaining the spiral stabilization).  A bending line, along with the Poll Sequence, will help the horse keep her Spiral if she loses it in the Coming Thru Walk.

An alternative way of achieving the Lift is through the Lift Two Movement Sequence, which is .  This movement sequence is:

• Poll Sequence

• Move HQ/FQ

• Reinback

The goal of moving the hind and/or forequarters is to confirm or re-establish the spinal Spiral.  For a horse that falls through the right shoulder, moving the shoulders to the left, and then the hindquarters to the right, may achieve this goal.  The reinback may be only one or two steps, just enough to achieve Lift. And you may choose not to do the reinback at all if you feel the Lift happening already. If you are in doubt about what direction to move the quarters to regain the spiral, try different combinations and see which works best!

Stickiness, and how to regain it once it is lost.  This applies in many situations.
For example, a young mare who tends to build anxious energy and rush whenever she is Asked to do something.  One exercise to help with this is have ask your horse to stop and relax between an object and the fence, to help her find relaxation and “stick” to the rider's Ask of a downward transition.  Working on a similar problem where a horse anticipates and rushes sideways away from the handler on the ground Asking for the Shoulder In Diagonal, the handler will need to regain Stickiness. 

We could generalize this as a Stickiness Movement Sequence:

• Forward Sequence

• Rise and Fall

• Repeat or Intervene 

The Forward Movement Sequence is a spine lengthening then a rise in energy followed by a softening.  If the horse is rushing away, or to test your connection with the horse, the Rise and Fall exaggerates the drop in energy and Asks the horse to match the reduction in energy by slowing or halting.  If the horse does not match (there is no longer Hum) then you could repeat the Ask or Intervene (with the lead rope or reins, the Poll sequence into a counterbend, or by physically blocking the horse’s forward path) as needed to clarify the request.

Both of these themes are of critical importance in our program.  The Ultimate Transition and the Hum require that the horse can follow our energy both up and back down again, to regain softness.

This ability builds emotional resilience in the horse and the rider, and allows us to eventually perform movements that the horse might otherwise associate with fear or excitement while remaining safe.  

Spiral Stabilization is necessary for normal healthy movement (as in Coming Through Walk), as well as for lateral movements such as shoulder-in and half-pass, for voltes and corners, and to build the activity of the Springs, ultimately allowing us to move in Harmonic Resonance with our horses in Piaffe, Passage, and other movements with cadenced gaits.

This ability builds emotional resilience in the horse and the rider, and allows us to eventually perform movements that the horse might otherwise associate with fear or excitement while remaining safe.

Spiral Stabilization is necessary for normal healthy movement (as in Coming Through Walk), as well as for lateral movements such as shoulder-in and half-pass, for voltes and corners, and to build the activity of the Springs, ultimately allowing us to move in Harmonic Resonance with our horses in Piaffe, Passage, and other movements with cadenced gaits.