Dr. Karin – Goal of Dressage
One of the main goals of dressage is improving the natural movements of the horse. As a veterinarian this is not what I see in most horses. Young horses I encounter for a purchase examination with good quality movements change after several years of training in horses with a lot of tension in their bodies and stiff restricted movements.
Why? The main cause is the general believe that shortening the neck is collecting the body of the horse, but the opposite is true. By shortening the neck, we hollow the first part of the back and as a compensation the horse over flexes the lumbar part of the back and tilts the pelvis to far under. This causes the topline to shorten instead of lengthen and the weight of the horse shifts to the forehand.
Therefore the horse develops the topline in an incorrect way, the fascia in the entire body tighten, causing decrease in movement possibilities in the extremities.
If we agree on improving the natural movements of the horse, being one of the main goals in dressage (dressage as a basic training for every discipline in equestrian sports) we should observe the natural movements of the horse and start to see the beauty in it as well as the beauty in the natural posture of the horse which allows the correct natural movements!