Developing Healthy Biomechanics
through Classical Principles
What do we mean by "healthy biomechanics" and "classical"?
When we refer to healthy biomechanics, we are speaking about our horses moving in a way that, at the very least, does not damage their bodies and minds. At best, we can improve our horse’s natural way of moving by balancing their natural asymmetry, developing strength and suppleness, creating coordination and balance, and empowering them to move in a way that feels good to them and promotes longevity in their bodies.
We achieve this by applying the knowledge of the dressage grandmasters, like François Robichon de La Guérinière, Antoine de Pluvinel, Baron d'Eisenberg, William Cavendish, and Gustav Steinbrecht. We also integrate more recent understandings of the horse’s mind and body. We include groundwork and liberty in our preparation for riding, ensuring the horse has the best possible foundation and preparation before we ask them to carry us on their backs.
In our approach, the end goal of healthy biomechanics does not justify a "by any means necessary" mindset. We use the classical exercises as references to shape the steps in our training process, but we also prioritize softness, safety, willingness, harmony, and connection in the process so that the horse and rider grow as a team into the beautiful movements of classical dressage.
Academic Art of Riding by Bent Branderup
Meditation for Two by Dominique Barbier & Keron Psillas
How your Horse Moves by Gillian Higgins
Nature in Horsemanship by Mark Rashid
Finding the Missed Path by Mark Rashid
Journey to Softness by Mark Rashid
Horse Training in Harmony with Karen Rohlf