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Using abduction to help us in our turns….along with other benefits.

Abduction-moving or taking away from the body.


Adduction-adding into or towards the body.


I just began understanding more of this since going to the Locke Phillips clinic. Some light bulbs definitely went off lol.

So in biomechanics, we want to support the body through beneficial movement. Particularly paying attention as to when our horse is getting ready to turn or step forward and out on a circle (so much info there for another post in itself).


It was been incredibly fun for me to begin to play with this and understand it more.

So when we begin to use abduction to help us turn, meaning we begin to pay attention to what leg the horse leads within a turn, this begins to help tie the inside leg to the inside rein when we turn. As the horse begins to understand what leg to move when the rein is lifted, our turns become actual turns and not forward tiny circles. This helps for not only reining spins but for teaching horses to turn correctly and safely. When the horse begins to have their nose connected to their foot, we have less running off and more balance in our turns as the horse steering in the right direction instead of leaning in the right direction.

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Here you can see Bud, a 6 yr old mustang, abducting in the left photo and adducting in the right photo. You can see that in the left photo he is much staighter and able to open up his shoulder and not drop it and not brace his lower neck as much as we begin our tun. This allows for an opening of the thoracic cavity and allows for the beginning of compressed nerves to have relief.


In the right photo, we see Bud addicting in the spin. Obviously, adducting must happen in a reining spin but we care about the first step being abduction first. But as you can see that as Bud is adducting, he is dropping his shoulder and seemingly falling to the inside, which is compressing the spine into the withers and pinching the thoracic cavity causing pinched nerves and such. As well as bracing in his lower neck. This is what happens when we allow a horse to take an adduction step first all the time rather than an abduction step when training and handling our horse.


We want to take care and notice what leg our horse is stepping out with first so we can begin to help through muscular memory to help our horses build up through their body correctly and begin to help heal their body through the movement of biomechanics.


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