Living Asymmetry Text Book - Available 1st May 2022
Living Asymmetry is a unique, hands-on equine and equestrian text book focusing on assessing and addressing the Horse Saddle Rider combination for welfare and well-being in performance. It was written for equine and equestrian practitioners and competition riders.
The concepts and perspectives contained within are academically referenced and justified to appeal to the academic reader without detracting from the ‘how to’ explanations. Richly illustrated, this book was written in a format which facilitates learning among a range of readers that have differing learning styles.
There are four separate sections.
Section One focuses on Applied Functional Anatomy of the horse and rider. The introduction explains the answers to a number of questions set such as ‘What guidance does the scientific literature provide for the rider about how to become a skilled rider?’ and ‘What other rider postural changes can help with techniques acquisition?’ and ‘How can the rider optimise their synchronicity with the horse’s movement?’
This section then goes on to describe the soft tissue functional elements of movement, together with movement analysis, the fundamentals of motor control, conditioning sports movement, the importance of rest and the locomotor response to exercise, touching on nutrition, homeostasis, pain, stress and learning.g
Section Two has a strong applied focus on the pulley and lever systems of the musculoskeletal system, this section describes each locomotor joint and its associated musculature in more depth. How to assess or palpate for asymmetry and mild restrictions, joint by joint, is demonstrated and includes hoof imbalance.
Topics associated with saddle fitting are Location of the Last Thoracic Vertebra, Mapping the Available Area for a Saddle are described, together with visual gait analysis protocol (or ‘Trotting Up’) and a wide range of equine back conditions to assist the reader with basic recognition of those common back signs of disorder.
Terminology of the structures of the locomotor system and how movement may be described for notation is also a strong focus of this section so as to aid the reader in the professional compilation of case reports.
Section Three describes Saddle and Bridle Fit Checking. The overall theme of this section is professional reasoning for the analysis of how to supply horses and riders with a precision, performance fit. Reasons for use, challenges to saddle fitting and research, the saddle as a commercial remedy, the different needs of the precision sport horse and competition rider are combined with the construction and function of the English saddle design, both treed and flexible/treeless. Conformation for saddle and bridle selection, together with professional templating techniques, provides a knowledge of a wide range of factors to consider when checking fit, including panels and saddle cloths/numnahs/pads.
Saddle and bridle fitting techniques and issues are covered in depth, together with rider assessment off the horse for a precision saddle fit or to identify issues that they may have with their current saddles. Checking the condition of the saddle for safety and asymmetry completes the section.
The final 100% hands-on Section Four, Preparing the Horse and Rider for Performance, demonstrates how to address the horse’s postural asymmetry with manipulation (equine chiropractic), myofascial and mobilisation techniques, together with in-hand ground-schooling techniques. These techniques target the equine myofascial lines postural support structure. For the rider there are evidenced-based sport specific exercises to target hip mobility, core strength, stability and synchrony for equitation, both on and off the horse.
Over 100 highly effective, simple techniques to boost performance in the horse and rider combination are described, together with alternatives to achieve the same goals. Suggestions to boost rider compliance with the conditioning programme are also described.