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ARR® Center for Anatomically
Correct Horsemanship

Rittorpweg 57
47574 Goch
Phone: +49 (0) 2823 97555 09
Fax: +49 (0) 2823 97555 10
Cell Phone: +49 (0) 172 14 13 294
Cell Phone: +49 (0) 172-211 73 13


Horses with a burr under their saddle

Girthiness is commonly associated with the consequences of tightening the girth too quickly when the saddle is first put on. But although there has been so much progress in the field of saddle making during the last decades and the awareness of the importance of saddle fitting and careful girthing has positively changed, many of our modern riding horses across all breeds are girthy. On reflection, this does not come as a surprise. What if the reason for the girthiness of a large part of the horses concerned were to be found in the low back position?

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How to put backbone into horse training

A fundamental rule of horse training under saddle is that your horse has to "engage through the back". However, the background of this principle is unfamiliar to many riders and even trainers.

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Getting Started With Training After Rehabilitation

Patiently you have given your horse time to recover from an illness or injury. Then finally, after a control examination, the vet gives the green light for the rehabilitation phase. You are very happy – and very uncertain.

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ARR in Danish horse magazine Ridehesten

The very important Danish horse magazine Ridehesten has just published a big article on the ARR training method and the successful retraining of Danish warmblood stallion White Talisman.

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Uridelig af kissing spine

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Anatómiailag helyes lovaglás

Read the fourth part of the series of articles on ARR in the Hungarian horse magazine LOVAS ELET!

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The Secret of Biomechanics

Paper by Gabriele Rachen-Schöneich and Klaus Schöneich

Our long-standing experience shows that the anatomical and biomechanical rhythm of the flight animal with its natural reactions to external effects has a central significance during the training of a riding horse.

This begins among others with the eyes. They send a signal of danger to the brain – in the process the eye muscles play a significant role (an article on the subject will be published shortly by Tina Wassing, veterinarian of the ARR center). A reaction is triggered by the muscles which have to react in a situation of danger because the brain is sending the received information forward to the muscle which triggers the flight reaction: the trapezius muscle. This muscle causes blocking on the forehand which on the other hand enables the high stretching of the neck and the head. Thereby the upper body (the torso) will be pressed down. The outcome is a clear stress behavior with an increased adrenalin production.

This absolutely normal behavior forces the horse – also in the wild – to standstill. In other words: Picking up the sent is only been done in standstill!

What does that mean for the training of a riding horse? The horse established this natural behavior and out of that the resulting reactions because of its anatomy and biomechanics. But this base is unfortunately not taken into account during a reasonable training. If we force the horse – without changing the just explained biomechanics of the flight animal – into a forward-downward or into a too strong forward movement we will land on the forehand and trigger the natural reaction of the trapezius muscle, the stress muscle.

Horses will not understand why they are run in a situation in which they have the genetically reaction imprinted to stand still. They freeze, get tense and put stress on their skeleton. The metabolism reacts: it reduces! The result of all this: a lot of horses end up in medical treatment because understanding for this reaction is missing during training!

That’s why we from the center of ARR set up the 2-step-education. With a reasonable transformation of the biomechanics of the flight animal everything will come together as a self-supporting athlete. The biomechanics of the horse can be therefore divided into two clearly defined structures: First of all the structure of the flight animal, as described above, and the structure of the athlete who can only react in a healthy and positive way when he masters the elements of his body which needs to carry himself. Behind all this hides the secret of a horse- and health-friendly training for riding horses.

During the first step of the ARR education – the preparation on the ground – the horse must get the awareness of its mainstay and its free leg. As the natural crookedness represents the diagonal shift of the negative region (more about that under «ARR») is the diagonal also the key to a positive change. But to reach this long known goal suitable equipment needs to be chosen. From us recommended cavesson has been proven to be most effective for changing the biomechanics. A line of new developed cavessons are too light and they won’t allow enough diagonal improvement because they shift too much on the nose.

Gabriele Rachen-Schöneich and Klaus Schöneich