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The Horse in Motion

208 pages
We all want our horses to be able to perform to the best of their ability and we know that an effective training regime has many facets. The horse must be worked correctly, fed a balanced ration, mentally and physically healthy and well looked after. This book examines a further aspect of the horse’s performance: it is designed to help all horse owners and riders to understand how a horse moves and how its anatomy helps, or hinders, the horse’s athletic ability.

First, the book uses sequences of photographs and detailed anatomical drawings to show the systems of support and movement at each phase of each of the horse’s gaits. The walk, trot, canter, gallop and jump are all examined, and the effect of the rider on the horse evaluated so that the rider can take appropriate action to avoid hindering the horse. Tips are provided throughout on ways in which the horse’s life can be made easier, such as saddle fitting, warming up and cooling down procedures.

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Part 1
Anatomy and Conformation
The whole horse
Introduction Training the performance horse Points of the horse The skeleton Skeletal muscles
The head and neck
Introduction The skull The neck Nuchal ligament Superficial and deep musculature
The forelimb
Introduction Design and function The skeleton Conformation Musculature The lower limb Stay apparatus of the forelimb Care of the horse’s legs
The hind limb
Introduction The hindquarters Alignment The skeleton
3 3 4 4 4 7
11 11 11 13 15 16
19 19 19 19 24 27 30 39 41
43 43 43 43 43
Joints of the hind limb Muscles Stay apparatus of the hind limb
The chest Introduction The skeleton Musculature Nerves Breathing
The back Introduction Conformation The skeleton Joints Ligaments Musculature Nerves Back injuries and their prevention
Part 2
The Horse in Action
Movement and action
Biomechanics Anatomical points affecting movement and action Gaits
Walking Footfall sequence of the walk Walking on the right rein Moving the forelimb forwards Moving the hind limb forwards Qualities of a good walk The benefits of walking The walk in dressage Over tracking Over reaching The walk with rider
Trotting Characteristics of the trot Qualities of a good trot
49 53 57
59 59 59 60 62 63
65 65 65 66 71 72 73 74 74
79 79 79 80
82 82 83 93 94 95 96 96 96 96 97
99 99 99
Footfall sequence of the trot The trot in dressage The ridden trot Lameness
Cantering Characteristics of the canter Qualities of a good canter Changing the lead Footfall sequence of the canter The canter in dressage Cantering with rider
Galloping Characteristics of the gallop Dynamic equilibrium Changing the lead Footfall sequence of the gallop Role of the hind limbs Stride length Angulation of the hock Warming the horse up and down Tips for the rider about safe galloping surfaces
Jumping Sequence of the jump The ideal jumper Evaluating jumping technique
Rolling and shaking
Rolling behaviour The rolling sequence Shaking
99 114 116 120
121 121 121 121 122 131 131
140 140 140 141 141 149 150 150 150 151
152 152 177 177
179 179 181 190