Here are some frequently asked questions about the main (adult) Horse Biomechanics Seminar, and their answers. Many of the questions and answers also refer to the Horse Biomechanics for Teens program as well. If you have a question that isn’t addressed here, please submit it to Dawn using the Contact Form here. She will respond to you within 24 hours.
How much math or science do you have to know to understand the seminar?
None. All you need is to be relaxed. The seminar is fun as well as eye-opening. The version designed for Equestrians is meant to be easily understandable to anyone over the age of 16, and the one for Youth and Families to anyone age 10 or above. The only thing that can get in your way is a level of anxiety that makes it hard for you to relax enough to enjoy yourself and learn. Dawn has taught these concepts to many people from all walks of life. You may find there are some things you understand better than others, but that’s normal for everyone. The experience of other seminar participants strongly suggests that no matter what, you are sure to learn so many powerful new things you can apply to your riding right away that you’ll be excited you came.
What is the minimum age to attend the seminar?
For a 90-minute Horse Biomechanics for Equestrians Seminar, the minimum age is 16. Younger people and families with children over the age of 10 may participate in Horse Biomechanics for Youth and Families, which is shorter and focuses on more basic information without “watering down” the important issues related to biomechanics.
I learned biomechanics from my trainer. What would I get out of coming to this seminar?
The term “biomechanics” is being loosely applied these days to subjects such as kinesiology and functional anatomy that are important but not really biomechanics. Dawn has worked in the field of biomechanics for over 30 years, and has taught these principles to professionals and “lay” people alike. Her experience is that real training in, and understanding of, biomechanics is highly uncommon. While you undoubtedly learned useful and important information from the people who said they were teaching you biomechanics before, come see for yourself how how much more real biomechanics can add to your understanding of horses and riding.
What discipline is the Horse Biomechanics Seminar useful to? Is it applicable to Western pleasure or hunter/jumpers or working stock horses?
It does not matter what discipline you ride, whether you show or not, whether you compete or not, what equipment you use, or what breed of horse you love. The fundamental principles of biomechanics deal with the relationship between the forces caused by gravity and motion on one hand, and the bones, muscles, and other tissues of horses and humans on the other. Physics is physics, regardless of breed or discipline. And breeds are far more anatomically alike than they are different. These clinics address the basics of horse biomechanics, because knowing them gives you simple but extremely powerful tools you can use to help yourself and your horse — tools that you’ve never had before.
I don’t own a horse. Will these clinic be useful to me?
If you ride or drive horses at all, train riders or horses, are a horse professional such as a veterinarian or chiropractor, or are engaged with horses in other activities, the Horse Biomechanics Seminar will be very useful to you.
Can you tell me why my horse won’t take a left lead? (or why my saddle makes my hip hurt?, etc.) I’ve had several trainers work on it, to no avail, and the chiropractor says there’s nothing physically wrong.
It’s possible that you will gain insight and understanding from the seminar that will help you resolve your problem. But the seminar’s focus is on learning basic principles that give everyone the powerful tools they need to deal with the normal (through frustrating and sometimes even dangerous) problems and issues encountered when people ride and train horses. Some individual problems simply go beyond the scope of this goal. If you want to work on a specific problem, you should attend a Horse Biomechanics Clinic or schedule a personalized Riding Assessment.