Balance and Posture
Use the PROSIX to create a more balanced, upright posture. This is accomplished by strategically placed bands which encircle the body fore to hind, and give lift to the lower abdominals to round and support the spine. The PROSIX is comfortable for the horse to wear, with wide bands of knitted elastic that support and stabilize while yielding with every movement. This is no restriction of movement, and no rigid parts.
Why do horses develop a less than perfect, asymmetrical posture? No one is perfectly symmetrical. Horses also have a dominant or stronger side. Horses view the world one eye at a time and it is this dominant eye that sets the course for the preferred direction, clockwise or counter- clockwise, left or right. Horses are most commonly left sided, and prefer counter-clockwise. Race tracks favor this predisposition to going left. Horses develop a stronger side rather than “working on” their weaker side. Riders may also feel more comfortable riding in a direction that their horse works best, which makes the problem worse. A horse may also develop a weakness due to accident, injury or illness. A horse being a prey animal will shift weight from an injured or weak area to a stronger one as compensation. This can make weakness difficult to detect and treat.
A horse has a heavier load on the forehand due to the fact that the head and neck are heavy and the horse has a build to support grazing activity, where the horse would in nature spend most of its time. For optimal weight distribution that would support movement, and carrying a rider, the horse’s weight should be distributed between its four legs with more weight carried on the hind quarters where the larger muscles can support and also facilitate propulsion or forward movement. A common objective of riders is to teach the horse to carry more weight on its haunches or hind quarters and to “lighten” the forehand or front end to make the horse more agile and balanced. The PROSIX links the horse’s forehand to its haunches with the mid-body strap. No other training aid connects the horse in this manner. The horse takes a step forward and is reminded to step forward with the hind and bring the haunches along. The horse responds to the gentle resistance of the elastic by reaching his hind legs under his body, creating better weight distribution and support.
Utilizing legs cues, expert timing, riding skill, consistency and much practice, horses can be taught to carry their weight in balance, collection, and good posture. The PROSIX can accomplish this much more efficiently by working directly with the horse’s own movement…no rider needed. PROSIX: Strength, Proprioception, BALANCE!
Balance and Collection
In true collection, more weight is carried on the hindquarters. This lightens the front legs which show increased movement when compared to the weight-bearing hind legs. The haunches are carried lower than the withers the majority of the time with forward movement. The hips are tilted in, towards and under the body. The hips are flexed and under, not extended and away from the body. The hind legs should step under the rider’s stirrups. The thorax and sternum are lifted between the shoulder blades by muscle contraction. The withers are higher than the hind quarters with this lift. The back and thorax are lifted between the front legs. The head and neck are lifted and lengthened, and the poll is the highest point on the horse. The horse’s forehead is at or ahead of the vertical.
The PROSIX encourages hind end engagement with more weight carried on the haunches or hindquarters. If your horse has been ridden on the forehand you may observe that this new way to move takes some effort initially. The resistance felt on his ischium or the point of his buttock from the “butt strap” encourages his hips to tilt in and come under his body. It takes more effort to “throw those hind legs out and away” against resistance, so he pulls them under, resulting in improved weight distribution. How do you explain to a horse what good balance and collection feels like? You have him wear PROSIX and FEEL balance. Before you add a rider, evaluate weight distribution, and give him time to build and round his back. A rider’s weight can exacerbate poor weight bearing compensation by the horse, which can lead to injury and stress to the joints and spine especially.
A Balanced Body= A Balanced Mind.
The PROSIX calms with steady, gentle pressure to relieve stress and anxiety. Through “deep touch pressure” or surface pressure, (as in swaddling) which has been observed to be relaxing and calming. This is evidenced by a decrease in heart rate. Animals have been observed to remain passive and not resist a smooth, steady pressure as provided by the PROSIX. This relaxed mental state in turn facilitates learning, alleviating anxiety and allowing the student to focus and concentrate.
We suggest your horse wear the PROSIX to load and trailer/transport your horse; during Veterinary exams or procedures; during Farrier visits (PROSIX improves proprioception and balance!); in new environments that may cause stress or anxiety; during training to overcome fear or anxiety.