Getting to bend

I read Dominique Giniaux’s book, “What the Horse Have Told Me” several years ago.  It was interesting enough at the time but I’ll admit I didn’t fully appreciate his points until some other information came to light and it all converged.  Funny how that sort of things happens.  It is like your brain isn’t wired to ‘hear’ something the first time you come across some information.  But, it gets stored.  Then later, some other bit of information reacts with the first bit and POW, revelation!

So, recently I was watching a video put together by JP Giacomini about half pass.  He said something that caught my ear.  It was about how the horse’s rib cage would lift up the inside seat bone when the horse was properly bent.  He went on to explain that when bent the horse’s withers/spinal processes would rotate toward the outside thereby lifting the inside seat bone.  In addition that the idea of pushing downward with the inside seat for bending was counter-productive because that would require that the horse be hollow.  Hmmmmmmmmm.

Suddenly I started to  have memories of reading in the Giniaux book.  Something was tickling my brain.  I had to go get the book and open it to chapter 16 about collection.  Yes, there it was, the diagram I remembered which illustrated how the spinal processes would have to tip to the opposite side of the bend.  I may even have done the experiment that he proposes with the piece of cardboard and a tack.  You’ll have to get the book to find out what I’m talking about!  😆

Well the more I ruminated about it and then brought it to my horse the more sense it made.  And, with that clarity, I started to get a lot better bend, too!!


  1. Hi, Sharon! This makes Mary Wanless’ descriptions of what is actually happening when good riders execute various movements (for instance, she says that on turns good riders (whatever they may SAY they do) are actually opening their chests to the outside of the circle). That would tend to take weight off the inside, I would think (or at least, would tend to get the inside seat bone off the highest point in the horse’s spinal process, by moving the seat bone a tad forward). I will have to find a copy of the book!

  2. It is so funny that you mention this particular thing right now. I had gotten into the habit of looking over my outside shoulder in order to facilitate alignment. I really wasn’t 100% sure why that made such a big difference but since it worked I just did it. Then -today- it hit me why it ‘worked’ and it was for the very reason you state above. TOO FUNNY!! Thanks for your comment. 🙂