Two of Germany’s most eminent trainers stressed the importance of slow development in young horses in a workshop at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire, earlier this week.
Dr Gerd Heuschmann and Suzanne Miesner flew over from Germany for the Young Horse Training Seminar, which was attended by 180 people.
Dr Heuschmann, vet, trainer and breeding consultant to the German Federation, spoke about the functional anatomy of the young horse and emphasised how important it is for the rider and trainer to have a full understanding of the horse’s anatomy.
He believes that too many trainers focus on developing the neck muscles and pulling horses into an outline, and stressed the benefits of slow development of the horse.
Suzanne Miesner, who is a professional rider and trainer in Germany, focussed on the idea that the basic foundation of riding is to strive to achieve a partnership with the horse to fulfil movements in harmony, rhythm and balance. She also believes that young horses should be developed slower than is currently the fashion.
A practical demonstration in the afternoon saw six young horses aged three, four and five, worked in front of the group. The three-year olds were shown in hand, and trainers were offered advice on how to handle them to gain optimum performance. The other youngsters were ridden, and immediate results could be seen as Miesner worked with the riders.
Graham Suggett, BEF consultant director of breeding, said: “We are delighted with the demonstration. This was a good example of British Breeding working across the wide range of disciplines and breeds for the benefit of the British equine industry.”