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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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Western Saddle Helps Dressage Horses with Saddle Trauma

Paper by Gabriele Rachen-Schöneich and Klaus Schöneich

Goch, 18/06/2017 | The saddle is the connecting element between horse and rider and has an important influence to whether the horse feels comfortable under the rider or not. Far too often we see saddles that restrict the movement of the shoulders, inhibit the supply of the trapezius muscle or are not positioned in the center of gravity – to mention just a few of the most common faults. Even custom-made saddles that are fitted to missing or compensatory musculature can only add to the suffering of the horse.

With these preconditions, rhythm, impulsion and suppleness as the foundations of health-protecting horseback riding recede into the distance, which sooner or later will lead to severe health issues such as kissing spine, fetlock lameness, navicular syndrome, etc. Therefore, every horse not only needs to have an individually fitted saddle, but also the horse – regardless of the age or use – needs to have gained enough muscles throughout functional training in hand before the custom-made saddle is fitted, so as the next step of training with a rider will cause neither pain nor stress.

Especially the psychological aspect of an ill-fitting saddle is very often largely underestimated in horse training. In particular with sport horses that come to us because of rideability issues, we repeatedly see that even after thorough basic training on the lunge, they fall back to old movement and behavioral patterns as soon as they have a – now correctly fitting – dressage or jumping saddle on their back again. Most of the times we observe this reaction already without a rider on the horse, when the saddled horse doesn’t show the same movement quality while being lunged with saddle than it did without saddle.

In our experience, an excellent way to train horses with saddle trauma is to ride them with a western saddle in the beginning. This doesn’t change anything about the riding style – the biomechanical reality in the horse stays the same, be it with a western saddle or a dressage saddle. However, due to the changed weight distribution with the western saddle, those horses are given the chance to feel a new sense of movement and to open themselves up for a new, positive riding experience. In most cases, sooner or later, it is possible to change back to the traditional saddle – only rarely the trauma runs so deep that the western saddle stays the one and only option. Due to its larger contact area and consequently the optimized load distribution, the western saddle is also strongly beneficial for horses with kissing spine.

The riding style doesn't change: sport horse with western saddle

At the ARR Center for Anatomically Correct Horsemanship, the western saddle is an important element throughout the training of horses of all races and types of use. But also for western saddles, there is a huge range of models that needs very careful selection. This is all the more true as the possibilities of adapting are smaller with western saddles than with traditional saddles.

The western saddle as an important element of training at the ARR Center

In many years of co-operation with a saddlery in the US, we have therefore developed the “ARR Spezial Diamond C” saddle. It is the replica of an original Bob Loomis saddle with three-way rawhide and leather rigging and a tree of the old type that has a straight front bar which provides more freedom of movement for the shoulder – unlike modern trees that have long-drawn front bars and therefore lie on the shoulders. Thanks to the specially for ARR designed back line, this saddle offers a fit that suits many horses. In Germany, the western saddle “ARR Spezial Diamond C” is exclusively marketed by FD Saddlery and is available in light and dark color of the leather.

The original saddle and model for the replica ARR Sepzial Diamond C



FD Saddlery "ARR Spezial Diamond C"