Manufacturer: Trafalgar Square
Model: Straightening the Crooked Horse Book
Category: Training Equipment
Purchase: I purchased this book by Gabrielle Rachen-Schoneich and Klaus Schoneich through Equestrians Edge Book Club after price seeing a synopsis and price shopping on the Internet. I had bonus points so with tax and shipping it was $21.72. I couldn't get the accent over the author's name on this computer the ISBN is 978-1-57076-376-2. I had been having problems with bending my horse and his hooves have always been very uneven in the front. I want to give him the very best start and have him last a long time. I put this under "Training Equipment" because it fits better here than in "Gift Books/Videos" but it could also go there.
Likes: This book really describes why horses are naturally one sided and heavy on the forehand. With the way it was explained it was totally plausible (I think it would pass on "Myth Busters"). Horses left to themselves would normally spend 16 hours a day grazing, in the wild they mostly move on the forehand and move in straight lines. Just like we are right or left handed the horse develops a preference for having one foreleg forward carrying most of the weight. In captivity the horse tends to spend much more time going in circles; whether in the stall, paddock or while being ridden, it will prefer to weight its' dominant leg. The weight of the rider enhances the forces changing natural crookedness into acquired crookedness which causes all kinds of tension, rideability and physical problems and sometimes loss of use.
Dislikes: I wish there were more photos of horses going correctly using this system. I also wish all the riders in the photographs were using helmets. There is a companion video which is not available in English. I was going to purchase it anyway but then, with my luck, it will be translated. I am too far away, and have too little money, to go to their center. On page 78 they made a statement that it is dangerous for people to work with this system on a problem horse. (Of course it seems, after reading this book, that it is also dangerous not to try straightening exercises on a problem horse; that working them normally is doing harm to begin with). The book says the lunge exercises are done six days a week for three weeks with Mondays off but it doesn't say how long each session is.
Quality: The translation was very good. I think they could easily fix my complaints in a later edition. I realize each horses program is different but following a horse or two from start to finish through their center would be helpful.
Summary: My horse, Petty Kash, is built like the horse on page 24, though he has a slightly taller croup (his croup is an inch taller than his withers, and his weak back dips in between). He has seen a homeopathic vet, we do back exercises from TEAM, I have done the traditional straightening exercises like shoulder in and counter canter. I have not been riding him long but since I have met him (long before riding)his front hooves have worn very unevenly. Now that I am riding he leans in and bends precipitously to the right and leans out and turns on his center (like a tank) to the left. When teaching Spanish Walk for fun I found he could not lift his right foreleg if we were turning to the right, even if I was off his back. He lost his left eye at 18 months and I acquired him at age four. I worked him, led him mounted him from both sides and I rode him slightly more to the left as he sometimes even refused to make circles in that direction (since he couldn't lean on his dominant leg). The book came in the mail on 8/4/07. I started to try to apply the training on 8/6, he had 8/11 off. He had his hooves trimmed (doesn't wear shoes) on 7/13/07. His feet were uneven when we started the exercises and he seemed stressed after our daily ride. A week after starting the straightening lunge exercises his feet are already noticeably better, I'm anxious for his next trim on Aug. 29. I used the clicker (Operant Conditioning) to enhance the exercises and he looks so much better on the lunge. He is doing Spanish Walk in hand on a circle well in both directions. We are both a little bored, so I try to take him to different places to do the straightening lunge training (can't ride in this system for three weeks). I do two short sessions a day; I figure he has to develop new muscles for this and would be sore otherwise. I'd love to tell you how the riding goes but I just couldn't wait to tell you about this book. I wish I had read this years ago (it just came out) for my 1978 Anglo Arab, I think it would have made us both happier and maybe I'd still be riding him.
Author: Petty Kash
Usefulness Rating: 2 out of 5.
5 reader(s) voted.
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