Monday, March 2, 2015

Invisible Balance

Jerry Schmidt
Balanced Equine Services

 Horses were meant to graze 18 to 20 hrs per day. They have a highly specialized system of wear and eruption of their teeth that, if respected, will keep them alive for a very long time. They need freedom of movement in their jaw, side to side and forward and back. This free range of movement in the mouth affects the balance and movement of the entire horse.

But because of lifestyle changes the horse must endure through domestication, it is very unlikely their teeth will wear as they were intended. As the horse's natural movements are compromised, imbalances begin showing up in their mouth, body, and feet.  Over time, a small imbalance becomes a larger one. All the while the horse is changing how they hold themselves. We see that in the way the horse carries himself, crooked feet, unexplainable lameness and/or strange movement patterns. In time postural changes manifest into movement changes and eventually lameness.

To move with balance and grace, the combination of a natural life style, balanced mouth, and balanced feet is vitally important to the horse's health and longevity. When a rider is introduced, care must be taken to have properly fitting tack. We must also stay fit and balanced ourselves so our imbalances do not alter the horse's balance. Working with the horse to maintain balance throughout their body is often hard in a society where nature is easily over-ridden to accommodate the new "latest and greatest." In our life with horses it is essential to look at how nature sets the horse up to survive and follow her guidelines as closely as possible.