Comments on DVD, Book, Lectures and Conference:-
From a veterinary viewpoint it was great to do the dissection … valuable revision but also really helped to give the anatomy a biomechanical perspective. I would recommend this as a great refresher and at the same time new insight for any vet who spends a lot of time looking at horses moving.
Just received both of your poster books and would just like to say how impressed I am with them. Really well presented as are your other books I have in my personal library. They will be a very useful tool giving you a visual aid of what you are trying to explain. Thank you
Annual Conference Feb 2012
"Thank you and yours again for the conference – probably the best conference I have ever been to, and I have been to a few. Each of the speakers was world class in his/her field. Gillian ran the conference most professionally. Congratulations all round. And, the calibre of the delegates was similarly very high. Anne Miller (Delegate)"
Comment on Horse Anatomy for Performance:
"Finally a book where you can learn how your horse ticks -inside out- and it is easy to understand and fun to read. A must for every serious equestrian."
Dr. W. Bechtolsheimer
Comment on Dissection Course:
Just wanted to send a quick note to say thanks for the time and effort put into the Dissection Clinic. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and learnt loads.
Thanks to Gillian and Andrew
Ruth Millican - Equine Touch Practitioner
Comment from Organiser of Riding from the Anatomical Perspective Live Demonstration:
Hi Gillian and Shirley,
Thank you very much for coming to Snowdon Farm last Monday evening to do the demo. We have had so many people telling us how much they enjoyed it, how they learnt so much and how you made it so easy for them to understand something that is quite complicated. There are many lovely comments on our facebook page for Snowdon. Cath and myself really enjoyed the whole day and I just wanted to let you know how happy we are that you were able to fit out little riding school into your busy schedule. The paint came off Arthur pretty easily with a bath on Tuesday. I think he enjoyed himself and I'm pleased you liked him too, I have some great videos of him doing the poles and jumps, even when he cantered the raised trot poles. We would love you to come back again next year to do something else. I will be in touch soon to sort something out with you.
Many thanks again, it was a brilliant evening.
Comments on The DVD - Movement from the Anatomical Perspective:
Well, I am ashamed to say that I have only just got round to buying the books and DVD- fully intended to, but when a member of my Enlightened Equitation forum reviewed them in such glowing terms, I shot off to order from Gillian's website immediately.
Truly I can say that the DVD is absolutely brilliant. Gillian explains it in terms that the layman can understand with ease, yet it would also be of use to the more serious student interested in anatomy and function.
The book looks equally of interest. This book and DVD should be read by all who ride and train horses- having now seen the DVD could not recommend it more highly.
I have watched this DVD over and over again, in my opinion it is fantastic, easy to understand and it has encouraged me to go on and study in even more depth the movement of the horse, I would highly recommend this product.
email from Nicky Hooppell
“Gillian's DVD Movement from the Anatomical Perspective is compulsive viewing for anyone interested in training horses – be they professional or amateur. It is explained in logical ‘bite-size’ sections and in an easy-to-understand way. Its a must and, understanding how the horse’s joints and muscles function, makes training methods so much more effective”
Laura and I very much enjoyed watching your DVD Movement from the Anatomical Perspective. In fact you have to watch it several times in order to digest all the information.
In watching the video one gets a much better understanding of how the horse actually functions and of the interaction between muscles, tendons, ligaments and the skeleton. This understanding will help us to ride and train better and will hopefully stop us from asking the impossible of our horses and hence prevent injury.
In my opinion it is a must for every rider and trainer who is serious about the sport and the welfare of the horse.
Dr. W. Bechtolsheimer
Comment on Video-Based talk - Jumping from the Anatomical Perspective:
‘I was at Duchy college with my colleague when you did the BHS instructors day. I have to say, I don't think I have ever sat so willingly for so long before. Your lecture was amazing and very informative.’
Comment on How Your Horse Moves:
I bought you book as an artists aid in understanding how to sculpt horses, I had started out with a very basic "skeleton" (armature in "art terms) based on another book I had, but found it very difficult to comprehend how the "volume" of the musculature laid on the bones (I was trying to sculpt the exterior surface of the animal). No longer!! I modified my armature to more correctly reflect actual equine anatomy and have started laying musculature onto the "skeleton" based on you images. Instead of trying to visualize the shapes, the animal is building itself as I progress. Great Book.
Comment on Live Horse Demonstration:
‘Just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed your demo today. It was incredibly informative and in-depth, but in easy to understand chunks. Our group included a Physiotherapist and a Jumping Instructor, plus me, just an every day rider trying to improve! Despite all our different interests and levels of experience, we all found the day so useful and inspiring, so thank you.’
Comment on Annual Conference, How Your Horse Moves and the DVD:
I just wanted to say a huge thank you to you and the Horses Inside Out team for the conference at the weekend. It was absolutely brilliant, so informative, interesting and overall a fun weekend.
Having the trade stands was also really helpful and useful - particulalry as I managed to persuade Pegasus Gait analysis to help me out with my Msc dissertation on measuring exactly how the core stability exercises affect the horses performance by measuring stride length, spinal and hind limb kinematics, so I am absolutely delighted that I now wont have to spend a million hours sticking on polystyrene balls to horses! Yippee! :-)
I also wanted to pass on some feedback on your book and DVD. May I just say that I think they are both absolutely brilliant and so informative, well written and presented. I love the fact that with all the core stability exercises the pictures demonstrating them include all the reasons as to why we are doing the exercises and which muscles are specifically being targeted with each exercise. Your wonderful skill of being able to paint the anatomy on to the horses just makes everything so much clearer in the book and dvd - especially in comparison to other books and dvd that are trying to do the same thing (I personally feel no where near as successfully as you have done).
So many thanks and I look forward to attending many more lectures and demo's in the future."
Comment on The DVD - Movement from the Anatomical Perspective:
I've watched your DVD half-way through and I'm most impressed even though I'd been expecting to be impressed!! It's a great tool to go along with your book. Brilliant!
Comment on How Your Horse Moves:
I was rushing past the stand at Hickstead at the weekend and your book caught my eye. I am writing to tell you it looks great - really good pics and although I was in a rush it seemed very easy to understand.
I was telling the lady on the stand how good I thought it was so she gave me your card and I promised I would let you know myself. Just found your card and so hence this mail. Congratulations and keep up the good work!
Horses Inside Out The DVD Review in Intelligent Horsemanship:
This is a very well designed and informative DVF for anyone wishing to understand the anatomy and movement of the horse. The skeletal and muscle system of the horse are clearly explained using motion and static anatomical painting on horses. The importance of establishing correct biomechanical movement is covered in a degree of detail with emphasis being placed on how the skeletal and muscle systems can be affected by the quality of the horse’ movement. I
For trainers, students and therapists wanting quite factual in depth knowledge of the skeletal and muscular systems this DVD is very good.
Reviewer: Ann-Marie Marek Intelligent Horsemanship Recommended Associate for Mid and South Wales and qualified Equine Shiatsu Practitioner.
Horses Inside Out DVD Review in The Cherion – The Magazine of the McTimoney Chiropractic Association
This DVD is an extension of the book “How Your Horse Moves” and aims to give a unique guide to improving performance. It uses anatomical paintings of the musculoskeletal system on live horses, along with effective use of slow motion photography, to demonstrate the importance of correct balance for both performance and physical well-being. The horses are seen both with and without riders performing dressage, jumping, western and stunt movements.
The DVD begins with a description of the basic anatomy of the horse from the skeleton to the muscles of the thoracic sling and hindquarters, and continues into a discussion on movement and the essential elements of propulsion, retraction and engagement. The last two chapters of the seventeen part DVD look at head and neck movement and how flexion of the cervical spine facilitated the athleticism required for dressage jumping and western training.
It is designed primarily with the interested rider and trainer in mind as the detail of anatomical descriptions is fairly basic throughout. However, there are opportunities to take a more in-depth look at the horse performing in slow motion with musculoskeletal features highlighted. In particular the last two sections describing head and neck movement, demonstrate the importance of correct cervical movement through the use of horses jumping and performing lateral movements in slow motion.
From a therapeutic point of view this DVD could be useful in a number of ways. When learning how the anatomy of the horse functions in motion, this is a good starting point. Having a DVD with horses performing in slow motion is always a useful resource. It is also an excellent way of being able to show riders how their horse works underneath the, what with contributes to optimal performance, and how hyperflexion of the cervical spine, or a horse ridden with the spine in extension, is likely to be damaging.
Reviewed by Joanne Archer
How Your Horse Moves Book Review in The Cherion – The Magazine of the McTimoney Chiropractic Association
I was quite excited about reading this book, after having heard of the “Horses Inside Out” lectures. And I wasn’t disappointed! Gillian Higgins is an event riders and equine therapist who believes that in order to get the best from your horse, you first need to understand the underlying principals which allow it to function. The book is full of colour and photos and drawings to fully illustrate the text and is aimed mainly at the competitions rider who is interested in the physiology and biomechanics of the horse with regards to improving performance.
The book is organised in to three main sections:
1. A Firm Foundation. This covers the anatomy of the bones, muscles, fascia, tendons and ligaments – a useful refresher for anyone.
2. How the Horse Moves. Here the musculoskeletal system gets looked at in more detail. The horse gets divided into sections and the major joints and muscles for movement and support are discussed, focussing on how the muscles groups have to work together in order to facilitate movement of the joints. The pictures here show both the ideal outline and the less desirable. The different gaits are well described, with the sub-gaits also included. The four phases of the jump are included here with lots of ways to help and encourage the horse to move more effectively.
3. Common Problems. This section is very appropriate to us as animal manipulators. General back pain, cold backs. Tendon and ligament problems are covered. There are lots of self –help stretched and exercises, many of which you will recognise and use on a daily basis, with pictures that are very descriptive. The emphasis is very much on prevention, which we also endorse.
The book concludes with a section on stable management and the simple ways to help the horse when not being ridden to keep a happy, balanced animal. Throughout the book there are summaries for each section covers. So it is easy to skip back over and ding the points you are looking for quickly. There are also top training tips throughout, to help with any issues riders may be facing. This is a refreshing read, with many points that I agree with. It is easy to work through and the many pictures make fascinating viewing and I think it’s an invaluable addition to anybody’s bookshelf, whether dealing with horses professionally or for pleasure.
Reviewed by Vicky Knapp
Pilates and Streching for Horses – Book Review in Intelligent Horsemanship Magazine:
Human athletes have long understood the benefits of stretching and core strength. Beautifully illustrated, this step by step guide to provides exercises for maintaining suppleness, flexibility and range of movement for your horse. Well organised, the 26 exercises are equally beneficial for horses of all disciplines. Clearly explained and easy to follow the guide explains exactly ‘how to do the exercises’, which areas of the body will benefit and gives tips to ensure maximum benefit.
Comment on Therapy and Evening Lectures:-
"Having been a leading Professional Show Jumper and Trainer all my life, probably best known for jumping the Puissance Wall at Olympia at 2.20m on Jungle Bunny and having worked with some of England's best competition vets I realise one is never to old to learn.
Last year I was asked to help Gillian with Freddie's show jumping and as a result learned a lot about biomechanics. My training experience coupled with her information now forms the secret of success. I have always seen that many horses have problems with approach, landing and balance and known that the problem is related to muscles. Gillian has done wonders with every horse I have referred to her for assessment and treatment. I wish I had had this insight many years ago."
Comment on Maintaining a Mobile and Pain-Free Back:-
"Just wanted to say thank you for the very informative lecture you gave at The Royal Ag College at Cirencester in December.
I went home and introduced my elderly Welsh cob to the 4 exercises, back lift, backing and carrot stretches. He is not very keen on the back lift as the reflex is so strong it takes us both by surprise and now he starts to shuffle about when I get in place. I back him up before I get on to ride and also practice some rein back when he is warmed up. This has improved his gate opening beyond all recognition. No more head in the air and fighting the bit. After we get back from a ride we do the carrot stretches. Muscles are warm and it is a reward for the work he has done. As he is so greedy, he is now very proficient and supple. On moonlit nights he can sometimes be seen in his stable, practicing the stretches and hoping that the carrot fairy will reward him for his endeavors!
Thank you again from a happy hacker."
Olga Griffiths Glos
Comments on Horses Inside Out Live Demonstrations:-
“The anatomy lesson that will change the way you ride!”
Your Horse Magazine
“Absolutely Excellent. Best Lecture I’ve been to and I’ve attended a lot since mid 60’s!!”
Julia Forsyth, Julia the Saddler
“Really, really good. If I’d had Gillian in medical school I could’ve been an orthopaedic surgeon instead of a psychiatrist!”
“The Students Loved it! Everyone who attended found it beneficial and loved the format especially the jumping”
“The Students valued the applied nature of the session using the horse and demo”
“Extremely clearly presented and informative - Invaluable to any rider seeking to improve.”
Anna Thomas Somerset
“Get more people to see your fabulous work”
Mrs B Grant Somerset
“Very Informative, Every person who rides and handles horses should see this lecture. Would like to hear more. Could go on all day!”
Helen Dant, Bookham Saddlery
“Very Clear and concise explanation of muscles and bones. It has to be the best talk yet that I have attended”
“Very informative and fun to watch. Thank you”
Laura Dempsey Saddler
“Very informative, very interesting and thoroughly recommend. Thank you”
Laura Elliot, Leics
“Very Informative and well presented, gives a good background for saddle fitting”
Roger and Ann Dykes, Rwerdale Equine Services
“Excellent, Very Helpful – wish I’d seen it 20 years ago!!”
“Fascinating and so clearly explained”
“Excellent and thorough descriptions, loved Freddie!”
Sue Price, Cirencester
Musculoskeletal System much easier to envisage when painted onto a real horse!”
“I found the evening informative but easy to understand.”
Joanne Brandon, West Midlands
“Thanks for a very enjoyable and informative evening.”
“I found the section on muscles particularly helpful. I am a BSc Student and it helped seeing it on a horse rather than in a book!”
Debbie Curran, Leics
An excellent and nicely targeted demonstration of equine anatomy and its relationship to performance. I enjoyed seeing the internal structure in action.”
“Just to say thank you. This was fascinating, very enjoyable and well presented.”
“All very informative and an excellent learning tool”
“A very well illustrated lecture, interesting and easy to follow. Gillian really knows her stuff and it is a topic, little covered before at basic level for amateur horse owners and riders.”
“Thank you for such a wonderful, motivating and insightful evening”
Jenny Cole, Bristol
“Another informative and useful evening – thanks. Being a runner and having regular sports massages myself I appreciated the good massage and stretching can do. I will now go and do some on my horse! Very clearly explained and logical.
Thank you, ps what a good horse!”
“Excellent! Could we have more lecture demos please?”
“Really enjoyed this session. Good advice and I will enjoy putting it into practice.
“Another excellent lecture/demo – much new ground covered. I can’t wait to try this out on my horse tomorrow. Thank you for inspiring me!”
“Very good demo – Very thought provoking. I will certainly be trying the techniques!”
If you have been to a HORSES INSIDE OUT lecture demonstration recently and have any comments, please send them to email@example.com