'THE PAINTED HORSE' - A visual insight into how your horses muscles work in rest and activity.

Weymarsh Dressage, the home of advanced rider Sarah Ridd was pleased to host the second part of their demo series The Painted Horse  - A Visual Insight to How muscles Work with Equine Body Worker Jonathan Roulston Tunnell. 
Once again there were fantastic homemade cakes on offer which proved to be extremely popular but the star of the show was Sarah's Advanced mare Bunny who stood patiently for three hours while being painted with chalk by renowned equine sports masseur Jonathon Roulston Tunnell.  
As British summertime has not yet made a full appearance, Bunny was treated to a liberal coat of hairspray to ensure the paint did not run should the weather take a turn for the worse.  The muscles were clearly highlighted with the right side of Bunny showing the superficial skeletal muscles and the left side the deep skeletal muscles.  
Painted horse_side_view

Bunny was warmed up as Jonathan described the horse's muscular system and how to ensure the muscles are worked correctly without being put under strain and that as riders, we do all that we can to help the horse to be an athlete. 
Using Sarah to demonstrate the correct and incorrect position, Jonathan was able to explain how the biomechanics of a horse work and the impact the wrong position can have on a horse's muscles, nervous system and consequently it's way of going.  
Sarah also demonstrated over poles in a straight line how Bunny overcompensated when she put more weight on the inside, causing Bunny to fall out and the impact this would have on a horse if ridden like this all the time.  Likewise, an unbalanced rider would have the same impact on a horse therefore causing poor posture within the horse and an inability to move freely forward and work correctly. 
Painted Horse_Poles

Sarah and Jonathan explained that there is a whole package involved in correctly working horses, in order for the horse to be fit and healthy so must the rider be fit and healthy, in order for the horse to work correctly with a strong core the rider must also develop a strong core, for peak performance, both horse and rider need a healthy, high fibre diet. 
All the horses at Weymarsh are fed on the Fodder solutions system where Barley, Sunflower seeds and Lupin beans are grown into a grass mat in a hydroponic growing room. Jonathan has witnessed just how quickly the muscles are replenished and energised using this system and as an Equine Body Worker fully endorses this feeding system, a sample mat was passed around the audience for inspection.

Painted horse_at_grass_2

Jonathan concluded the demo by asking the audience to take a good look in the mirror at home and to assess if they are straight or have any tight muscles which could be affecting their horse.
Further demonstrations at Weymarsh Dressage are planned and we will keep you updated.

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Weymarsh Dressage, Lower Trunley Heath Farm, Trunley Heath Rd, Bramley, Surrey, GU5 0BW.  Contact details are Claire on 07803 728 646 or Sarah on 07951 011 052.