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A Note on Hypermobility and Development

LSH Arsenios is my 5 year old home-bred Iberian Warmblood.

He is just now getting his slow introduction to under saddle work.

Not just because I personally believe in waiting until they are more structurally developed to start, but because he inherited his Sires hyper-mobility which means he required a lot more strength training than the average horse before being capable of soundly supporting a rider.

Common in Iberian horses and most of our modern Warmbloods, hyper-mobility is often misunderstood as being easier to develop than an “average” horse, due to the flashy movements and ability to achieve higher level movements at a much faster rate.

While the latter is true, it’s important to understand that those reasons are precisely why they are more difficult to DEVELOP and also why they hold the highest rate of injury of most breeds and are usually flunked out or retired by age 7-8.

These are horses that can perform expressive movements DESPITE not having the muscular development required to do the job to support their skeletal structure. (Think being double jointed vs training to be flexible)

It takes a very slow and aware approach of equine biomechanics and a protective lens over not only their body but your own ego to hold back on the constant struggle of getting greedy with the generous expressive offerings these horses give you.

In my personal Sport Horse Program, I have -

A Colorado Ranger Bred A Spanish Mustang A Percheron/Thoroughbred A Pura Raza Española And Arie…

Talk about a difference in body types

One of the most frustrating things I come across in this industry, is people misunderstanding the difference.

Developing a hyper-mobile horse allows you to cheat (at the horses expense), and I believe that is fundamentally where we are seeing the rapid decline in training and development practices.

Developing an average horse might be “slower”, but that is because they force you to be correct as they simply will not advance without it.

And I will tell you, the average ones are far easier to develop for that reason alone.

It’s also why it breaks my heart to hear when people are told their horse “won’t excel in dressage”, as that just tells me the trainer speaking is unaware of what slow, correct work will do.

Once you understand how the body works, it becomes crystal clear.

It’s why BTMM works as a diagnostic tool, a rehabilitation protocol or simply just a general development methodology, regardless of the type of body you’re working with.


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