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Your Horse's Back and How to Improve His Posture

Updated: Nov 30, 2022

Over the last few months, due to the effects of COVID-19 many businesses have had to adapt to new ways of delivering their service, including those that usually hold live demos or in person training.

One of the things many of these businesses have been able to do is produce online content which is accessible to many people and has been brilliant for people like me as it has enabled me to keep learning from the comfort of my own home, continuing to expand my knowledge in order to be a better therapist and have access to some of the most knowledgeable experts in their field.

This type of training is also more affordable than live training and also means I am able to take less time away from my day meeting and treating client’s horses and train in ‘my own time’.

I don’t think online training will ever fully take away from hands-on training especially for someone like me who’s job is all about being hands-on but it has certainly helped me develop my knowledge over the past few months.

When I discovered that Gillian Higgins from Horses Inside Out was going to be releasing a series of webinars I was so excited.

Not just because I wanted to view them myself but also because I know from past experience that Gillian’s style of delivering information is not only suitable for therapists that already have knowledge of horse anatomy and biomechanics, but is also really accessible and understandable to anyone that owns or loves horses and just wants to know a bit more about how they work, helping them to understand ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ when it comes to our horse’s bodies.

I just knew this series of webinars was going to be perfect for lots of my clients so have already been recommending it to lots of you and was excited to see the first one to make sure I was right to!

The first webinar this evening (7th November 2020)  was ‘Understanding the horse’s back’.

gillian higgins horses inside out  spine, cervical vertebrae, thoracic, lumbar, sacral and caudal vertebrae, equine back skeletal anatomy

The webinar was presented over the Zoom app and was easy to purchase and to follow the link to sign up.

Gillian sent plenty of reminders in the run up to the webinar by email which was really useful, as if you are anything like me, you can write something in your diary and still forget it’s on!

The webinar started at 7.30pm which is a great time for most of us horse owners that need time to finish work, see to our horses, get home, feed the dogs and sit down with a cuppa to watch.

I had my trusty notebook and pen to hand ready to write down any gems I might pick up that I didn’t know about the equine back already – there was bound to be something…….!

Gillian speaks so clearly and is really is to understand and the quality of the filming was really good which I was impressed with.

I really liked the way she used question polls in the webinar which make the webinar interactive and engage the people watching.

The webinar was divided into 3 sections:

1.      Back Anatomy

2.      Back Biomechanics

3.      Back posture

(Any of you that know me as a therapist know I am obsessed with posture so this was bound to be my favourite section)

Throughout the webinar Gillian used lots of examples of real horse and pony skeletons and bones as well as images and videos of her famous painted horses which are so useful for visualisation.

For those of you not familiar with Gillian’s painted horse demos and books I highly recommend you check them out as having the inside of the horse painted on the outside is such an awesome concept and an amazing learning tool.

During the webinar attendees were invited to ask questions using the Q&A option on Zoom and Gillian was answering these as she went through the presentation which was great as people’s questions were being answered almost as they were being asked so were relevant to the content Gillian was discussing at the time.

What I also really liked compared to some other webinars I have attended recently was Gillian was not just reading from a script or showing slides and then repeating their content, she was speaking freely and describing what was on the screen and also using a ‘drawing tool’ to point out important points as she went along. This kept the content refreshing and entertaining as well as educational. I loved the choice of music over some of the videos too.

Gillian also included exercises that owners could do with their horses to assist with range of motion in the horse’s back. This was great, as a therapist I am always encouraging my clients to perform exercises with their horses on and off the horse between treatments and making these more accessible to people through things like webinars makes me very happy. The more that horse owners know about these the more their horses will benefit and the more they will be able to get from their horses performance wise.

gillian higgins horses inside out horse canter, extensor chain, dorsal line, ventral line, flexor chain,muscle anatomy and biomechanics, horse back movement

I believe Gillian shares this ethos with me and has created an amazing platform in Horses Inside Out which enables this dream to become a reality.

I actually had a client today that is a serious competitor in Endurance with a string of horses and has competed for England.

I have been treating her horses regularly for some time now, and she has always kept up with my aftercare advice and is now seeing the changes in her horse’s body shape, posture and performance.

Today she said to me ‘I could give up competition and just become obsessed with making my horses the best they can be’

She said that thanks to my help and explanations of WHY we were doing the exercises she was enjoying seeing and feeling the difference in her horses and they also seem so much happier in their work.

Now I don’t think for one moment she should give up her competition goals, but this was music to my ears and made me feel like I had accomplished my goal – which is to empower horse owners to help their horses to be the best version of themselves they can be.

And I believe this is also what Gillian wants to achieve which is why I think I resonate with her work so much.

So back to the webinar series.

I encourage any of you that have been thinking about joining to do so. The webinar will only cost you £10 and 2 hours of your time.

gillian higgins horses inside out horse posture, good , poor, Gillian Higgins webinar

I am really looking forward to the next 2 webinars coming up, entitled:

  • Poles for Posture with Gillian Higgins

  • Pilates for Horses with Gillian Higgins

I am so excited that Gillian is going to share these webinars on these topics with you, as I am so passionate about these subjects and am always encouraging my clients to have a go at these types of exercises.

So please do get involved in these.

You also get 7 days to watch back a recording of each webinar which means if you can’t make it live you can watch in your own time, or if you feel like there is too much information to take in you can watch back and pause to make note which is really useful.

If you do watch these webinars and I am currently treating your horse and you are wondering if any of the exercises are suitable for you and your individual horse please do get in touch any time so I can advise you.

I hope you have found this blog useful.

If you'd like to watch a recording of this webinar you can do so HERE

(Please note all images belong to Gillian Higgins and Horses Inside Out)

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