A couple of snapshots of practising our Straightness Training (ST) exercises with Cassius (our nearly 5-year old loan pony) on Tuesday. I apologise about the picture quality as they are stills from the video. Unfortunately the video recording was too far away to really see anything. Hopefully more luck on my next attempt.
The first exercise was working on lateral bending (equal bending of the spine to either side by stretching short muscles and contracting long, weak muscles) and to lower his head, i.e. to stretch forward & down (picture 1). It took Cassius a little while to understand what I asked of him and to relax into it, but he soon got the hang of it.
Then we practised this in walk (picture 2), which encourages the inside hind leg to correctly step forward and under the point of weight, engaging the inside hip.
(for more info on ST visit http://www.straightnesstraining.com)
Although I’ve always been aware of Cassius’ right side being his weaker one (as he struggles to go on the correct canter lead on the right rein for example), these exercises have highlighted just how great the asymmetry is in his body and how much this affects his movements etc. So we’ve got our work cut out 🙂 But it’s definitely a journey worth venturing on!
I am so glad my friend Liz Morrison introduced me to ST last year, it really has opened my eyes and awareness to how our natural asymmetry in our bodies (including our horses’) affects our daily movements, wellbeing and performance. Can’t wait now to go onto the 2-day ST training course on 25/26 April…so excited.
I really think ST is the right way forward in training & schooling our horses, especially preparing youngsters right from the start, setting them up for a successful, happy life in whatever equestrian sphere they and their owners may work in.