Exterior and Horse Types

The exterior represents both the limit and the possibility of a horse's movements. Each horse should therefore be trained according to its possibilities. The focus in riding can be of different importance depending on the exterior.

- Horse Types

Modern sport horse breeding and the characteristics and breeding goals of many breeds have a decisive influence on the movement sequences. Basically, it is divided into different exterior types, each of which requires different riding and construction conditions. The aim should be to train the horses in the balance of the muscle chains and as far as possible. The exterior not only determines the possible uses of the horse to a limited extent, it also reveals how the horse is kept and ridden. Every rider should therefore acquire a certain basic anatomical and biomechanical knowledge in order to be able to ride their horse in the best possible way while preserving their health. Horses are divided into linear and lateral types. The lateral type includes cold blood breeds, but also baroque horses such as Andalusians. However, most are mixed types. There are warmbloods that are more of a lateral or linear type. Horses that are of the linear type usually have a dominant top line. They are mainly found in thoroughbred breeding, but also in modern dressage and jumping horse breeding. These horses feature long legs, a long pastern, and a long back. On the one hand, they are designed for a fast gallop, but on the other hand they are also known for the particularly swinging movement sequences that are desired in dressage. With these horses, the tone of the topline predominates, so during training they should be deliberately shortened in the frame in order to achieve a balance between the topline and the bottom line. On the other hand, horses that stand in the lateral type stand more in a square shape. These horses have short tubes and a short pastern, so they have significantly less catapult effect and a naturally shortened frame. These horses have a dominant underline muscle tone. The neck is naturally carried more erect, which in turn affects the performance phase: you move with less space gain. Due to the circumstances, these horses can be collected more easily, but their weakness lies in the reinforcements and the frame extension. Gathering and frame-expanding work should always be balanced. Playing with the frame and consequently with the muscle chains is healthy for every horse, but only within the limits of physical possibilities.

- Conformation Defects
Conformation defects are divided into changeable structures and fixed structures. Changeable structures primarily mean muscle chains that can be consciously changed through appropriate training. Bony structures and soft structures are directly related. Targeted muscle training can therefore definitely affect the position of a joint. In the context of frame extension, the back of a horse is particularly important. A straight back is considered ideal: dorsal and ventral muscle chains are evenly developed, the trunk is well trained and the hindquarters are angled accordingly. Since very few horses live up to this ideal, it is up to the rider to compensate for the defects in conformation through targeted training. Training the dorsal chain above the spine is therefore crucial. Horses with a sagging back line are colloquially referred to as a slouch back. This usually occurs when the abdominal muscles are too weak. The danger of touching spinous processes increases and it is almost impossible to carry the rider's weight in a healthy way. On one hand, swaybacks can of course be genetic, but on the other hand, unsuitable equipment can also be considered as a trigger.

- Holistic Training

The biomechanics of the horse basically requires a holistic training concept. Riding one-sidedly only wears out the horse in the long term and leads to unhealthy shifting within the muscles.