2.22.24 Eclectic Classroom - The Anatomy of Straightness with Deb Bennett, Ph.D

“In short, for all disciplines, breeds, styles of riding, and activities, straightness is an absolute prerequisite to true collection.” - Dr. Deb

Join us for an evening of lively discussion centered around developing an understanding of what straightness is from an anatomical perspective. Please post your questions here ahead of the class (so that special slides or photos can be prepared for the discussion to help answer them in real-time.)

Ready to join the class? Register here.

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We never returned to the gray horse at the beginning of the lecture, and Dr. Deb’s question, Can you see what he’s doing? I’m going to be the student that raises my hand first. :slightly_smiling_face: My answer is that he’s weighting his two left feet, or leaning to the left. It’s because the horse prefers to weight left that the rider has trouble getting a left lead. When asked to strike off, the horse weights his left hind instead of his his right. Do I have that right?


OK, another question (from approx. 1:48 in the recording). If I want to improve my canter depart, I need to learn to ask my horse to depart right at the moment his outside (if traveling on a circle) hind hits the ground. Am I thinking about this correctly? There must be more, however, because I should be able to ask for canter from a standstill. Is that where my leg movement comes in? Is it enough, ultimately, to simply move my leg back to ask for a canter? Or do I nudge him with the leg. Does the horse need to understand that my leg coming back is a signal both to weight the proper leg and to bring up the life? Is it simultaneous? Or is it one (bring leg back, nudge, horse gets ready) then the other (weight appropriate hind leg). Sheesh! Maybe I’m overthinking this.