Thought4 the day: How do you know when its time that your friend might need retiring?Or do they need a little rest to sort themselves out before anything else goes wrong? They can't turn around and speak to you or can they? They are fine tuned highly intelligent creatures and they may not come out with words but if you know your horse truely in and out you would realise when something is not right.... To the naked eye they might seem sound but when you are around you sense something is not right and when ridden you feel it even thou they still can't see it. You know. You understand. Its a gift a unique bond between you and your friend. Treasue it and listen and when its time for retirement simply love and say yes you deserve it. After all they simply give and give and give let us give something back :o)
Fact4 the day: Neck arch and musculature
A nicely arched neck. A neck with an ideal arch is called an arched neck or turned-over neck. The crest is convex or arched with proportional development of all muscles. The line of the neck flows into that of the back, making for a good appearance and an efficient lever for maneuvering. The strength of the neck with proportional development of all muscle...s improves the swing of shoulder, elevates the shoulder and body, and aids the horse in engaging its hindquarters through activation of the back. An arched neck is desirable in a horse for any sport.
Ewe-neck, with muscling on the underside. A ewe neck or upside-down neck bends upward instead of down in the normal arch. This fault is common and seen in any breed, especially in long-necked horses but mainly in the Arabian Horse and Thoroughbred. The fault may be caused by a horse who holds his neck high (stargazing). Stargazing makes it difficult for a rider to control the horse, who then braces on the bit and is hard-mouthed. A ewe neck is counter-productive to collection and proper transitions, as the horse only elevates its head and doesn't engage its hind end. The horse's loins and back may become sore. The sunken crest often fills if the horse is ridden correctly into its bridle. However, the horse's performance will be limited until proper muscling is developed.
A swan neck is set at a high upward angle, with the upper curve arched, yet a dip remains in front of the withers and the muscles bulge on the underside. This is common, especially in Saddlebreds, Gaited horses, and Thoroughbreds. A swan neck makes it easy for a horse to lean on the bit and curl behind without lifting its back. It is often caused by incorrect work or false collection.
A knife neck is a long, skinny neck with poor muscular development on both the top and bottom. It has the appearance of a straight crest without much substance below. A knife neck is relatively common in older horses of any breed. It is sometimes seen in young, green horses. It is usually associated with poor development of back, neck, abdominal and haunch muscles, allowing a horse to go in a strung-out frame with no collection and on its forehand. It is often rider-induced, and usually indicates lack of athletic ability. Knife neck can be improved through skillful riding and the careful use of side reins to develop more muscle and stability. A knife necked horse is best used for light pleasure riding until its strength is developed.
Large crests are relatively uncommon and found in any breed. It is most often seen in stallions, ponies, Morgans, and draft breeds. An excessively large crest puts more weight on the forehand. In extreme cases the crest may fall to one side. Large crest is usually caused by large fat deposits above the nuchal ligament. An excessive crest due to obesity can be treated with a reduced diet
Quote 4the day: "Riding is a partnership. The horse lends you his strength, speed and grace, which are greater than yours. For your part you give him your guidance, intelligence and understanding, which are greater than his. Together you can achieve a richness that alone neither can." ~ Lucy Rees