‘How Your Horse Moves’ is written by Equine Remedial Therapist Gillian Higgins. In her introduction she says this:“This book is all about getting the best from your horse, improving his performance and more importantly his welfare. Not every horse is going to be a world beater and many disappointments could be averted if riders understood how and why their horses move in the way they do. It would enable them to accept physical limitations, train with empathy, achieve realistic goals and bring out the best in their horse.”
She goes on to say that, too often, she sees horses that have imbalances and tension caused by rider imbalance, uneven muscle development and expecting too much too soon from the horse. I had seen her “Horses Inside Out” presentation and was interested in this book.
Part One examines the musculoskeletal system and the anatomy of the horse. The “How Your Horse Moves” section gives the basic principles that are further expanded in Part Two. This second part of the book looks at the applied aspects of how the horse moves. How does he jump? How does he bend? How is he using his limbs?
Part Three gives various ways we can help to keep the horse moving freely. I particularly liked the “Pilates for Horses” with the carrot stretches. I do these every day after riding with Biasini. The ‘carrot low to the side’ was a new one to me so I have now incorporated that as well. The diagram in the book has points showing the areas of the horse’s back and neck that are involved in this stretch.
Throughout the book the “painted horses’ show the muscles, ligaments and bones and how they are moving and how they are affected by movement. I think this is very interesting to know and to understand.
Overall I think this is a useful and informative book. It does not get into too much “veterinary” detail but is easy to understand for any horse person. It is a good book to have handy in your library to consult when you want to know what is beneath the skin of your horse.
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