The mechanics of the movement and the body structure .

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To ride and to train a horse properly cannot be done without the knowledge of the skeletal/body structure of the horse and the mechanics of his movement. If we should imagine schematically the horse’s skeleton it would look about like this:

  It is a system of two pairs of two-arm (teeter) levers.

          The front lever:

The front arm of the front lever is the head and the neck; the rear arm is the horse’s back. The supportive center point (the fulcrum) of the lever is the foreleg in the withers. This point is fixed, non-moving in the vertical (up and down) direction, which is given by the structure and placement of the individual parts of the front leg. (also relates to so called "break-over)

          The rear/hind lever:

The front arm of the rear lever is the loin; the rear arm is the pelvis.
          The supportive center (the fulcrum) of the hind lever is in the hipbone. The supportive center is not fixed but is flexible in the vertical/perpendicular (up and down) direction, which is based on the angling structure of the hind leg. With the reduction of the angles, the supportive point is lowered and the other way around, which is of great importance for the balancing, through-stepping and the collection of the horse.

           Both levers are flexibly connected at the loins. In the observation of the functions of various parts of the body we can see, that the front serves for carrying and the hind for movement like a motor that pushes the front forward ahead of itself.

   The impulsion of the movement comes out of the point where the hind leg is pushing off the ground and is carried through the mechanics of the levers to the loins and through the back onto the whole front end. It is therefore very important that the loins are well connected/tied/build into the back so the whole movement is well transferred onto the front end.

In a faster gaits the impulsion is so strong that it actually causes the horse to leave the ground altogether, throwing his entire weight on the forehand. Hence balancing the horse for the rider is of the essence, since the rider alone already makes the front end heavier. 

Loins = each side of the backbone between the hipbone and the ribs in humans as well as quadrupeds

Translated by Ludvik K Stanek a.k.a Lee Stanek from the 1953 Special Zoo-Technique - Breeding of Horses
Published in 1953 by the Czechoslovakian Academy of Agricultural Science and certified by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Written by: MVDr Ludvik Ambroz, Frabtisek Bilek, MVDr Karel Blazek, Ing. Jaromir Dusek, Ing. Karel Hartman, Hanus Keil, pro. MVDr Emanuel Kral, Karel Kloubek, Ing. Dr. Frantisek Lerche, Ing. Dr Vaclav Michal, Ing. Dr Zdenek Munki, Ing. Vladimir Mueller, MVDr Julius Penicka, pro. MVDr Emil Pribyl, MVDr Lev Richter, prof. Ing. Dr Josef Rechta, MVDr Karel Sejkora and Ing. Dr Jindrich Steinitz.