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ARR® Center for Anatomically
Correct Horsemanship

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Horses with a burr under their saddle

Girthiness is commonly associated with the consequences of tightening the girth too quickly when the saddle is first put on. But although there has been so much progress in the field of saddle making during the last decades and the awareness of the importance of saddle fitting and careful girthing has positively changed, many of our modern riding horses across all breeds are girthy. On reflection, this does not come as a surprise. What if the reason for the girthiness of a large part of the horses concerned were to be found in the low back position?

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How to put backbone into horse training

A fundamental rule of horse training under saddle is that your horse has to "engage through the back". However, the background of this principle is unfamiliar to many riders and even trainers.

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Getting Started With Training After Rehabilitation

Patiently you have given your horse time to recover from an illness or injury. Then finally, after a control examination, the vet gives the green light for the rehabilitation phase. You are very happy – and very uncertain.

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ARR in Danish horse magazine Ridehesten

The very important Danish horse magazine Ridehesten has just published a big article on the ARR training method and the successful retraining of Danish warmblood stallion White Talisman.

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Uridelig af kissing spine

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Anatómiailag helyes lovaglás

Read the fourth part of the series of articles on ARR in the Hungarian horse magazine LOVAS ELET!

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A Universe Of Its Own

Let’s face it: what do we, who work with horses every day, really know about the complex processes in horses’ bodies? Have we grasped this intricate system in its entireness?

Inherent crookedness has become a buzzword in the training of horses. The fact that crookedness causes many movement problems and health issues is beyond dispute.

When it comes to dealing with the horse’s inherent crookedness, a variety of crash courses is offered, and many are tempted to make do with superficial training methods. However, such methods become dangerous when, blinded by short-term success, we fail to see the big picture and the horse’s movement problems reappear after a short while.

In our daily work with horses, we are constantly facing new challenges. However, training horses for decades has given us a key to understanding the universe of horse movements: their biomechanics.

The Horse – a Flight and Steppe Animal

In order to protect themselves from their natural enemies, horses have a particular ability: speed. Horses are flight animals, and neither domestication nor breeding have changed that. To this day, the flight instinct is deeply rooted within all horses.

When keeping watch (and preparing to flee should the need arise), horses raise their head. Thus their shoulders are pressed down by the trapezius muscle and the main body weight is brought onto their forehand.

When the horse panics and flees, adrenaline is released, his hindquarters are pressed down to the ground as long as possible to release maximum thrust which enables the horse to flee fast. Thereby, his back is arched down and his hindquarters are stretched backward.

<b>Keeping watch</b>

Keeping watch





Such behavior is completely natural and only becomes a problem when a rider’s weight is brought upon the horse’s back. If over a longer period of time, a horse has to carry a rider’s weight while at the same time carrying his main weight on his forelegs, problems are prone to occur and often medical treatments ensue.

<b>The trapezius muscle presses the horse’s shoulder down.</b>

The trapezius muscle presses the horse’s shoulder down.

<b>When being ridden like that, health problems are prone to occur.</b>

When being ridden like that, health problems are prone to occur.

<b>A downward-swinging back causes immense strain on the horse’s joints.</b>

A downward-swinging back causes immense strain on the horse’s joints.