It is well known that the horse naturally carries more weight on his forehand than on his hindquarters. This forward center of gravity, combined with an often unrecognized, inborn crookedness from poll to tail, can greatly inhibit training and ultimately affect the horse's physical soundness and willingness to perform. In fact, Gabriele Rachen-Schoneich and Klaus Schoneich attribute 95 percent of all locomotive problems, in both sport and leisure horses, to this inherent crookedness. For over 25 years, Rachen-Schoneich and Schoneichalong with expert riders, trainers, veterinarians, and other specialistshave concentrated specifically on this theory at their international training center in Germany. There they have worked withand successfully "e;cured"e; through appropriate gymnastic trainingmore than 4,000 horses with straightness problems related to: incorrect or insufficient training; bad riding; veterinary misdiagnosis; poorly fit tack and equipment, and other causes. Now, the couple describe their techniques, not only for addressing the symptoms of crookedness in an already schooled horse, but also for dealing with the "e;innate problem"e; in unbroken youngsters. Readers learn how using groundwork with green horses can "e;straighten"e; them and increase their "e;carrying power"e; before they are backed. You'll see how, with sufficient attention to gymnastic training on the longe and in hand, the eventual transition to work under saddle can be handled smoothly, easily, and without ever sacrificing correct locomotion.
Straightening the Crooked Horse