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 Traditional Dressage / articles


Talking about "Back movers vs Leg movers"

A back that wriggles "left and right" is not a swinging back.

The swinging back goes up and down smoothly, not one that wriggles.

The seat is not taken left and right when riding a back mover, as many believe.

The seat is taken... and flow forward, able to channel energy while being carried up and down and forward.

What counts is that the back swells, widens, softens and pulsate and feels forward, the energy from behind can pass, the horse becomes united and comfortable.

If a horse does not generate the limbs' action from the back, thanks to the muscles and the nervous system un-damaged, the horse's body becomes a "rectangle/cardboard" transported by four legs - who do all the work - and joints wear prematurely while the horse's nervous system is made tense.

Talking about Leg movers

The horse's back and croup are not "together": there is a big gap of energy )which can be more clearly seen in extended paces and this particular horse has to do all the work with his "lower joints" in an angular fashion in order to perform. 

Seeing him before "warming up techniques" is interesting, his trot is rather normal, rather nice in fact, as he is so young he still reverts to a nice way of going (not exceptional) that would put him in the 6, 7 brackets... marking without the modern techniques of training..

But when the rider use techniques that block the use of his back again (little reminder are enough at shows), he becomes "the breathtaking leg mover" that crowds and non experts admire.

Talking about "Back movers

All the parts of the horse, the "the limbs/neck/middle" are moving in harmony with each others, thanks to the back, which orchestrates the limbs action and whose activity generates a healthy nervous system, as well as good blood circulation and pulsating muscles, the horse is relaxed and powerfully moving over the ground, smoothly.

It is the actual "texture", "feel" of the back that changes through training. The horse is not "locked in the up position", but the energy centre is under the saddle.... So the rider can converse with the horse with his seat.

The more the horse swings in his back, the more wonderful the feel in the hands is changed, lightens and the lower legs are filled by the horse who relax his whole middle.

A sure way of seeing if a trained horse is moving correctly is to see if the croup and the back move "as one", with no break of energy in the loins or "rolling croup", croup becoming up down while the back is still, etc. (it can be discreet, but an expert can see this easily).

Swinging back is a back that generates the paces, the limbs' action, which means a back that can do its job, to pulsate and be alive under the rider's seat so that the neck muscles carry the rider thanks to the energy from behind when the horse is in movement.