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Shoulder blade question
 Moderated by: DrDeb  
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kcooper
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Joined: Mon May 23rd, 2011
Location: High River, Alberta Canada
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 Posted: Thu Jan 19th, 2012 02:38 am
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Dr Deb,

I have not ordered the Conformation dvd set yet so the answer to this question may lie there or most likely in material I have even already read and re-read but it must not have hit home yet.

I am reading Vol 6 of the IH right now and the question that is on my mind is about what exactly happens (and how) to the shoulder blades when your horse offers up self carriage? Josh mentioned briefly about the the need for the shoulder blades to open up at the top (like say, go from more of and 'A' to an 'H') so that the scelenus and longus coli can contract and successfully lift the spine up into that region.
But what causes (initiates) it to take place? Does it stem from the relaxation of the top line muscles? Do the underlying muscles contracting make it happen?
It looks to me like the cervical trapezius muscle, when contracted, plays a majior role in holding the tops of the shoulder blades shut so maybe the opening comes through their release/relaxation alone?
Or maybe is it the by product of weight transfering from the front to the rear?

Most of the diagram models have the scapulas removed so you can see everything else and its left me wondering.

I have a number of horses at my place and I am looking at the differences in what their bodies have become physicaly in a whole new light. No two have the same background and so their bodies tell different stories. I have, to study, an ex long time race horse, ex barrel horse, ex jumper school horse, two unschooled 4-5 yr olds and a 24 yr old broodmare. The reasons why things are the way they are with them keeps being unearthed as I read. These physical and mental outward signs carry so much weight.

I sent an email to Dave Elliot because I know that he hosts your anatomy classes and I believe he is the contact for the ones held in Canadia but have not heard back from him. Do you already know if you are coming to Canada in 2012? I would like to sign up if you are.

Thank You
Kim

Last edited on Thu Jan 19th, 2012 02:48 am by kcooper

DrDeb
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 Posted: Thu Jan 19th, 2012 04:05 am
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Kim, that's great, I'm happy you're interested in taking the anatomy class. I can promise you a very eye-opening experience with that. We don't know about doing classes at Dave's yet, if or when, but we'll sure post them as that gels.

As to shoulder blades and collection: you're confusing cause with effect. What the shoulder blades do is an effect of collection, not a cause of it. The shoulder blades do not need to do anything in order to permit the longus colli and/or scaleni to have their effect in lifting the base of the neck. The longus colli and scaleni are axial body intrinsics -- in other words, they go from a more posterior to a more anterior part of the spinal chain and that is the only place they go. They do not touch or attach to the shoulder blades and therefore, any contraction or effort they make cannot have any effect on the shoulder blades at all. Next time you see Josh, you give him a poke from me, and tell him that this is why he also needs to come and take the anatomy class.

In the meantime, to address what you need to know to begin with about collection, go to the main section of our website by clicking on the "home" button above. Then click on "Knowledge Base" and then download the following three articles, whose buttons you will see to the righthand side of the page:

1. Lessons from Woody

2. True Collection

3. The Ring of Muscles

These three articles set forth what collection is in very clear terms, and also explain what the pre-requisites for collection are, i.e. bodily straightness and inner OKness. You may read them and then write back here with any further questions. -- Dr. Deb

kcooper
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Joined: Mon May 23rd, 2011
Location: High River, Alberta Canada
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 Posted: Thu Jan 19th, 2012 04:18 am
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"What the shoulder blades do is an effect of collection, not a cause of it"

Well that clears it up for me.

I have been reading through the three articles about twice a month actually! Each time I get a more clear picture or else something new that didnt resonate with me the previous time finally sinks in.

Thank you

nejc
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Joined: Tue Sep 30th, 2008
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 Posted: Tue Jun 26th, 2012 03:02 pm
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Hello.
I am studying Woody paper and I have a question obout fig. 9. I am trying to recreate it so that I can better understand it.

I do not understand "net rotation of the torso which will also be reflected in the carriage of the head" and how it is seen on fig. 9 or in my simple reproduction or in fig. 14 B. As I can see also the torso A and torso B are not the same. On torso A it seems larger - more developed 1 and 2 on the right side looking from behind and 3 on the left side of the torso A. There is also steeper line from withers to scapula on the right side. The B torso seems symmetrical. Is this just my optical illusion or does it mean something?

Igor

nejc
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 Posted: Fri Jul 6th, 2012 01:43 pm
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QUESTION ABOUT COLLECTION
Hello, I have another question related with studying texts in ESI Knowledge base. (1)Twirling the head and (2) twirling the loins are tools for decontraction of the back muscles of the horse. They must become part of the every ride and part of the daily routine to be successful and that horse offers them and consequently relaxed back on their own. This two  tools and different exercises involving (3)lateral bending and (4)stretching of the contracted side of the horse and (5)making stronger the opposite side of the horse are essential for straightening the horse.
(1)Decontraction and relaxation of the back muscles (in  connection with head twirling and loin twirling – straightness and inner OKness are presumed), (2)raising the base of the neck (as consequence of the correct  using of the reins – reins working as the special “muscle” which as the antagonist of the scalenus- colli complex never wins but allows them to win – »muscle tonus« in the scalenus-colli complex and in the reins  is in favor of the muscles of the base of the neck) and (3)coiling  the loins (strong iliopsoas) and (4)contraction of the strong  abs muscles (as the consequence of their strengthening   program) are the tolls for collection of the horse.
How does asking for the coiling the loins differ from asking for twirling the loins is my first question? 
As I understand raising the base of the neck and coiling of the loins are done practically simultaneously to achieve collection. How aids (seat, legs, and reins) are structured for achieving /allowing this simultaneous effect is my second question.
Thank you very much for answers, Igor

DrDeb
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 Posted: Sat Jul 7th, 2012 02:34 am
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Dear NEJC: Your numerous questions would be very simply solved if you had direct access to one of our approved teachers. If you can't understand from the written documents, I will not always be in a position to help you. You are working against two disadvantages: first, that you don't have direct access to a good teacher who himself understands this stuff; and second, that English is not your native language.

As to the 'leaning' or scapula diagram from the Woody paper: Please look at my illustration again, the one that is actually in the paper. Your drawing does not accurately reproduce it. Look more closely at the length of the 'sticks' that represent the legs. Horses do not break off at the level of the elbow the way you have drawn it. You would be much better off, rather than trying to re-draw a figure that already exists, to do as it is suggested there and build yourself the complete wooden model.

As to your further questions: if you can't find a teacher, then at least do us the courtesy of thoroughly searching this Forum first, before asking. All of the questions you have asked have been asked here -- and answered -- many other times. Further, you could also go to the small expense of subscribing to "The Eclectic Horseman", where these topics have been discussed and illustrated in my 'How Horses Work' series, and also discussed by other good horsemen who are featured in the pages of that magazine.

Or, alternatively, you could purchase the 'Anatomy of Bitting' DVD program. That gives 8 hours of instruction regarding the interaction of the horse's anatomy with all kinds of different bits, and it includes a section specifically devoted to twirling the head, how to do it on a live horse, what it looks like when it is done on the skull and bones, so you can see the exact anatomy as well as the technique. I also go into this in the 7 1/2-hr. DVD program called 'Conformation Biomechanics'. You can buy either one and benefit.

You can also read the whole story of 'head twirling' by studying my book 'Conquerors: The Roots of New World Horsemanship'. The main thesis of this book is the invention, development, and historical dissemination of the hackamore/jaquima/hakma, which is the tool or item of tack that has historically been used to twirl horses' heads. Further, you can read its development or re-discovery in Western Europe by reading my translation of Francois Baucher's First Method (Inner Horseman Back Issue Year 2004) and my dissection of the content of the European Classical High School (Inner Horseman Back Issue Year 2005).

As you see, these topics have been of considerable concern to me, and I hope also to my students. There are a large number of resources, so please avail yourself of them and hopefully that will serve to clear up some of your difficulties.

In future, when you want the answer to something, please ask only one question at a time, because a barrage of questions such as you are laying on me here makes me think that you are completely lost. Thanks for the courtesy. -- Dr. Deb


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