dressage horse muscle development

Linda O'Leary

Watching, training, starting and fixing Thousands of Dressage Horses over the many Years, has taught us both many things, but the most important being the Horse and Rider benefit would be the evolution of the Muscle Development, to support the Horse in it’s difficult job. Indeed, this subject is closely linked to another recent article we have written, called “Equine Kissing Spine“.

We know, that the MAJORITY of ridden Horses within the ‘English Disciplines’ in this Country, are NOT ridden via systems that promote Muscle Development, rather, they deteriorate it.


  • So to simply explain, there are two basic systems of Riding and coaching of the Dressage Horse and Rider. One is via the constant contact of the Mouth of the Horse using 2 Reins (locking the Horse in a Box) and triggering constant negative pressures along the Topline, through the Spine and over the Sacroiliac. This system has an ongoing negative effect upon the Veterinary Welfare of the Horse…….or……..
  • Riding ‘ Inside Leg to Outside Rein’, which gives the Horse all of the necessary freedoms through the Body, to become ‘over the back’, ‘through’ and into ‘self carriage’, all setting up the Horse to be ‘off the forehand’ and carrying the weight on the Hinds. (engaged)

So here are those 2 forms and of course the Muscles tell the story.

Holding or not holding

A Horse can only show, beauty and freedom, within it’s movement, if the Rider allows with their Hands as not to block or interfere.

Linda O’Leary

One alternative system, the Philip Karl system, is the perfect example Muscle deterioration of the Dressage Horse, for it causes ‘hollowness‘ and of course, this is one of the contributors to ‘Kissing Spine’ as well. Here is an example of one such Horse, before and after 4 Weeks

So, in these reputed ‘enlighten times’, I do hope our systems bring focus upon the aged thinking of the Past.

John and Linda O’Leary

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Recent Post


We now live in the Age of the 6/10 end Product. I rank Horse Starting out of 10. Over the...
Read More

training the green horse

Each Year, Thousands of Young Horses make their way into the ridden World. The majority of Owners are ill equipped...
Read More

The jointed snaffle bit

We live in an alleged "Enlighten time" of Horse Training and yet, from the World of Horses that I mix in, I see important advances ignored by many. Hence articles like this one.
Read More

dressage horse muscle development

We know, that the MAJORITY of ridden Horses within the 'English Disciplines' in this Country, are NOT ridden via systems that promote Muscle Development, rather, they deteriorate it.
Read More

problem horse world – 10.1.2021

The South Australian Police are the Servants to Scum Bags!!
Read More

kissing spine in the riding horse

We agree but there is much more to it than the Vet's realize!
Read More

problem horse world – 6th december, 2020

Hi Folks. Hope You are all well. Wonderful Week of Weather. 12mm of Rain and lovely cool Days. 19 Degrees....
Read More

Problem Horse World – 30th november, 2020

Hi Folks. Well, Summer is upon us and the Bushfire Royal Commission taught them little. How much did that cost?...
Read More

Problem horse word 29th november, 2020

Hi Folks, Hope You are all well and that You weren't too hurt by the Lying Mongrel with the Covid....
Read More

problem horse world 16th november, 2020

Hi Folks. Hope You are all well. Busy as always and a quite stressful Week, getting the various reports on...
Read More