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Riding From an Anatomical Perspective

Updated: Nov 30, 2022

This week I spent the day at Horses Inside Out HQ assisting with filming for part 2 of Gillian’s ‘LIVE’ painted horse lecture demonstrations. Which are due to be released in the Autumn as part of the new series of Webinar Wednesdays.


The day’s focus was ‘Riding from an Anatomical Perspective’


The weather was absolutely beautiful, warm and sunny, so when I arrived at Horses Inside Out HQ I was pleased to see 3 horses out on the yard already partially painted ready for the day.


Arty and Toby I recognised of course as Gillian’s own horses but there was another horse I didn’t know. This was Hendricks. He is owned by 4* international event rider Fiona Davidson.


Fiona was to be joining us in the afternoon to ride Hendricks for some of the filming.


So first to get stuck in with some painting.


gillian higgins horses inside out Equine thoracic sling muscles, horses inside out

Arty was being painted with the muscles of the Thoracic Sling and bones of the front end of the horse.


gillian higgins horses inside out dorsal serrate muscle horse

Toby was being painted with some of the muscles and bones that sit directly beneath the saddle and rider.


gillian higgins horses inside out horses inside out skeleton, external abdominal oblique muscle

 gillian higgins horses inside out  chains painted on horse

Hendricks was being painted with movement and core muscles as well as parts of the skeleton.


This was his first time as a HIO model and being only 6 years old I thought he did fantastically well to be at a yard that was strange to him and to stand still for so long to be painted.


Once the horses were finished we were ready to get going with the filming.


gillian higgins horses inside out Horses Inside Out online lecture demonstration filming

These particular videos are designed to be like real life lecture demonstrations, so as much as possible filmed in one take which was really fun to do.


The lecture demonstration includes the following topics:


· Posture in detail

· The 4 main ways the horse supports good back posture, including anatomical structures

· Riding in harmony with your horse

· Tips & exercises to try out with your horse at home


gillian higgins horses inside out Thoracic sling muscles

Gillian also included really useful advice such as:


· The importance of regular saddle fit as your horse changes through the seasons

· How to locate the scapula and last rib on your horse to help you assess suitable saddle length for your horse

· Tips for mounting your horse

· The importance of saddle fit for the rider


gillian higgins horses inside out Filming Riding from the Anatomical Perspective with Gillian Higgins of Horses Inside Out

As well as in depth explanations and demonstration of:


· How the canter can improve the trot

· Rider position and the effect this has on the horse

· Exercises to help test your balance as a rider

· How we can influence the action of the hindlimb between a ‘pushing’ and a ‘carrying’ action

· How we can use the horse’s nuchal and supraspinous ligament system to our advantage at the end of a session to stretch and loosen off the back


gillian higgins horses inside out Filming riding from the anatomical perspective - online lecture demonstration with Gillian Higgins

There is so much that has gone into this demonstration, it’s going to be a great watch!


It was really cool to watch Fiona riding the exercises Gillian set with young Hendricks whilst she was also wearing a ‘skeleton’ body suit.


gillian higgins horses inside out polework Horses Inside Out online lecture demonstration with Gillian Higgins Riding from the anatomical perspective

It demonstrates so well how the horse and rider’s bodies work together.

In one part Gillian asked Fiona to ride in positions that are commonly seen in many riders but are not desirable, and you could really see the effect this had on Hendricks and his own posture and way of going.

It was a very busy day, but a successful day of filming and I am excited to see the finished lecture demonstration when it is released in September!

All that was left to do was to wash down the horses and make my way back to Worcestershire.

Release dates of the new webinar series have now been announced!


Now available as recorded lecture demonstrations HERE




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