Posture is the way the horse holds his body, both statically and in motion. Statically posture is maintained through musculo-skeletal balance and harmonious when each muscle and joint is maintained efficiently.
Dynamically, when the horse is in motion the horse’s posture is associated with self-carriage and balanced paces.
Conformation can be attributed to poor posture; however the horse’s conformation, whilst making good posture difficult in some cases, cannot be changed. We can however, have a positive effect on the improvement of posture through correct holistic training. Conformation is the underlying skeletal structure of the horse. For example, if a horse is born with a long back or cow hocks this cannot be changed, this is all based on breed characteristics and genetics.
Conformation can appear to be altered by improvement in posture, however the conformation does not change, as the underlying skeletal structure will always remain the same.
Good posture is essential to the ridden horse for soundness and optimum performance and can be influenced heavily by training and the use of aids, which may cause the horse to carry himself incorrectly. Without good posture the horse can never work to his full potential, working in a free and even gait, using his musculo-skeletal system to optimum performance and in comfort. Good posture enables the horse to engage correctly, work in correct self-carriage without putting excessive strain on his body, work comfortably and provide the trainer with his best work.
Why is good posture important?
•Good posture is anatomically important for the correct functioning of the body.
•Decreases stress on muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia.
•Prevents fixed hollowing of the back in an extended posture.
•Ensures correct muscular activity. Ensuring muscles are used efficiently.
•Reduces strain on joints.
•Reduces the risk of overuse injuries.
When a horse is carrying the additional weight of a rider, increased core strength is important to support the additional weight and support the spine.
Poor posture and its effects
Lack of core engagement and muscular strain on the neck when using side reins.
Poor posture is any stance or way of going that is not ideal. The effects are cumulative and over time poor posture can have a detrimental effect on the soft tissues of the body.
There are many reasons why a horse may have poor posture which include but are not limited to:
•Poor hoof balance/farriery
•Training methods used
•Poor fitting saddlery
•Lack of fitness
•Incorrect outline/way of going
•Use of haynets/feeding from a height
Poor posture can have a negative effect on:
•The skeletal system
•The spinal nerves
NEW! Wright & Morten Supplements
Wright and Morten now have our own range of supplements for a variety of conditions, or just to help keep
your horse in the best condition. Lots of health supplements are available from feed and tack stores and some supplements can help treat or prevent problems. But how to choose has always been difficult! Supplements can vary in quality and cost quite dramatically, so Wright and Morten decided to provide some that we could trust.
They are all carefully formulated with only the highest quality ingredients. The range is extensive but it includes:
Premium Joint supplement - A veterinary strength mobility feed supplement, which combines the nutritional benefits of Glucosamine HCL 99% pure, Chondroitin Sulphate and Bioavailable Sulphur. Fed as recommended, it will enhance the level of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in the joint. These are the building blocks of the cartilage matrix. High levels of Chondroitin Sulphate in the formula act as a “water magnet” in the joint, allowing it to withstand constant compression and concussion. Performance horses are pre-disposed to increased wear and tear on their joints. This can lead to an imbalance between the production and breakdown ofcartilage tissue. When the rate of breakdown exceeds the rate of production, cartilage tissue will begin to break-up causing erosion of the cartilage matrix. This can lead to serious problems such as; osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease and articular lesions in the cartilage tissue. Premium Joint Supplement provides the components necessary for the nutritional maintenance of a healthy cartilage matrix.
•Gastric Aid - supplies a unique formulation of prebiotics, amino acids, seaweed extract and specific minerals necessary to aid in the recovery and maintenance of a healthy digestive tract. It is supplied in a convenient pelleted formulation. This can help balance the acid in a horse's stomach and prevent acid splash. We often use it with other treatments and long term to help prevent ulcers recurring.
•Hoof supplement - A complete hoof supplement containing high levels of biotin, calcium, ziinc, methionine, bio-available sulphur and amino acids to help aid any hoof problems.
All of the supplements come with guarantees, so if you have any problems we can help and of course, we are always here if you need advice! For information on the full range, which includes liver support probiotics, multivitamins and many more, please call us on 08458 330034.
Other supplements we also recommend are:
Equitop Myoplast - which is a unique amino acid supplement, specifically designed to support lean muscle growth. The blend of amino acids in EQUITOP MYOPLAST supports lean muscle growth, helping horses to respond and cope with the demands of training. This is great for horses recovering from an injury as well.
Coopers Gut Range includes a selection of pre and post biotic supplements, which can be used to help keep the gut healthy, or help settle down a disturbance in the normal flora of the gut. These can be helpful for young foals who can suffer with diarrhoea, through to a horse who has had surgery.
FARM AND EQUINE The Barn, Holly Tree Farm, Holmes Chapel Road, Lower Withington, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 9DT