The Natural Outline

The Natural collected outline in Piaffe with my Liberty Rein
There has been much opinion and dispute over the correct "frame" "headset" or Outline a horse should have for various disciplines or activities.

As usual, I decided after studying all these points of view to go to the experts to ask them what they think. The experts are the horses. I ask them a lot about what works and doesn't work for them. Sometimes we (humans) decide that we know better then our horses and I think that's when we get into trouble.

I started exploring the natural outline at Liberty and watching horses with no tack. I then looked at conformations, movement, training, and habitual postures. I have the good fortune to work with many disciplines and breeds. It is easy to work with a nicely put together horse that is suited for a discipline. But, I am always most gratified to take horses on that are needing rehabilitation. With proper dressage exercises and good Fundamentals(and possibly some chiropractic and acupuncture), even the seemingly most challenged horses can have dramatic turnarounds.

This takes time and it is not a fast fix. There is often atrophy, asymetry and muscle memory patterns that will take patient, careful plans to overcome. It is a lot like Physical therapy in some cases. It can change from day to day and require constant adjustment to the needs of the horse.

All horses require time and patience regardless of talent, or conformation. In fact often the most ruined horses are the ones that show promise. They get rushed through the levels of training because of their ability. Their good nature is taken advantage of and or they are injured in the process. They are often mentally depleted as a result.

The exercises I use are centered around Liberty and my Liberty rein because they allow the horse the freedom to show me where they want to carry their posture. They are trained from where they tell me to start. You can do theses exercises with my Bitless bridle, Halter, or Bitted bridle. Another reason to choose the Liberty rein is that is will deter you from being able to pull on the horses head. The Liberty rein allows you to focus on your communication and body language and removes the temptation of controlling the horses head. Watch your horse without tack and let him show you where to start. See Natural Outline Liberty rein exercises at the FDHorsemanship Virtual Clinic


Probiotics: Equine Wellness tip

Probiotics are an important part of my Wellness program with my horses and dogs and even myself! Probiotics are, if you don't know, microorganisms that are beneficial for overall health and wellness.

Probiotics have been shown to:
  • Enhance the immune system's ability to fight infections throughout our tissues
  • Provide a source of Vitamin K
  • Control bowel toxicity
  • Reduce gas production.
  • Reduced incidence of Colic
  • Improved digestion, nutrition absorption and food utilization.
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Reduced Candida (thrush) symptoms.
  • Reduced allergy response.
  • Rebalance the gut when administering Anti-biotics
  • Rebalance the gut after de-worming
  • Beneficial to prevention and healing of Ulcers

Specific Probiotic strains and strengths are beneficial for certain health issues. It is good to know which ones are in the products you select and how many viable organisms are in each serving. For starters you want about 2 billion minimum. See some general Strains listed here:

Bacillus coagulans 
This strain can be helpful for Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Chronic Intestinal inflammation which is becoming more common in horses. This probiotic strain can also help with immune response against viral challenge.

This strain is beneficial to digestion and vitamin absorption as well as Chronic diarrhea. It can benefit allergies and immune response. Can also help reduce stomach ulcers.

Lactobacillus acidophilus 
Best for Candida albicans (Thrush/Yeast infections) and helps reduce allergic response. Compared to other probiotics, Lactobacillus acidophilus survives the best in the conditions of the gastro intestinal tract when compared to other strains.

Lactobacillus casei
Is another strain that supports digestion, Nutrition absorption, and GI inflammatory issues. 

 I use Probiotics as a regular part of my Immune, Anti-Ulcer, Anti-Colic, Optimum nutrition approach. If you are looking for support for a specific health concern, check which profile may be best for best results. Here is the link to some high quality, different blends of Probiotics from Earthsong ranch:
Here is another good site for Probiotics