The EQ System
I liken it to an 'eco' system as opposed to an actual 'method' to do things.
An EQ system: a living space for horses designed with the assistance of the equines in the living system. A system which compliments the land, contains various footings, rolling spots, eating/grazing zones, poop zones (and manure management), shelter, fresh water and added enhancements to elevate the health and wellness of the horses.
No matter how big or small the land, you CAN implement enhancements and improve the functional health of your horse and the land they live on. Any step towards natural enhanced living is a plus to the horse. It turns on a message to the innate wisdoms of the ancient horse. I like to call it their 'inner horse'. Health and wellness includes mental health and if the inner horses needs are met the horse will be sound and sane with an amazing ability to partner with you without extended drilling so commonly seen in training these days. I digress....
Movement and cognitive engagement are keys, and once that is established, with good nutrition and trimming, you have a horse that is sound on all levels. In mind, body and spirit! !
Contrary to popular belief, you don't need a ranch of thousands of acres in Arizona to house happy horses (although that really really helps!) you only need to be willing to think a little less conventionally, and be willing to implement the concepts of the EQ System (the philosophies behind the enhancements shown) and incorporate them (or some of them even makes a positive difference) in your particular area of the world, on your particular parcel of land, in the variance of seasons. There are ways around too dry, too wet, too much grass, not enough grass etc... Problems have solutions!
The philosophies presented here are presented for the horse's health and to keep this amazing biological being grounded and plugged into nature, plugged into health, inner strength and resiliency. Designed with the health of the land in mind too. Healthy land and water and feed is as important as good trimming.
Some think that its about throwing them out in the field and leaving them be. It's not quite so simple but you may be amazed at the results of hoof growth, strength and resiliency in just using even just some enhancements presented, and in a relatively short time frame!
Horses are much stronger than we think! Nature is more powerful that we can imagine! Nature and horses belong together as much as fish and water. The horse, no matter how conditioned to living in a box or a mine, can re-establish it's connection with nature when given the medium to do so.
Any step towards natural is a positive step in the direction of health!
You can help horses gain a better connection with their living space within a week, if they are not accustomed to being 'outside'. Other horses also help the ones that haven't experienced living naturally. They help them 'plug in' to their inner horse once they are incorporated into the herd.
Movement is KEY for healing and for prevention! Prevention of what? Lameness, illness, colic, and just being downright miserable to name a few. Horses NEED each other and they NEED to move. More than you would think, and that doesn't mean riding them more. Incorrect riding, ill fitting saddle, poor bitting, bad postures (both horses and people) can do more harm that good. For riding to be a body building activity, the trainer has to be very cognizant of the fitness level of the horse, his present abilities and strength and be able to show the horse to carry himself in balance etc. In other words, the riding is done with the building of the horse's body in mind and not just for the sake of putting miles on them, riding can be considered 'movement'.
Putting incorrect riding miles on a horse wears them down, not builds them up.
Like a car, putting lots of miles on with no maintenance will result in a broken down old beater in no time! More mileage is something the horse can handle much better when he lives in a more free range living system or managed EQ system.
Movement is key! Movement and having friends and forage. Horses need a lot of steps per day and any more that you can add are generally of a benefit to him. There are other factors like footing, foot fall (hoof balance), conformation etc,
Observing our herd in the middle of the night, it is a time for play and grazing. It's not a time when the 'wild' horse sleeps; that comes in the middle of the day at 'siesta' time.
So once again, MOVEMENT is Key!
Movement is strength. Strength over time equals power. ANY form of movement you can give a horse is good. THE BEST, believe it or not, is WALKING. That's especially true when you are rehabbing or trying to gain strength in the carrying muscles etc. The walk is best at a forward 4 beat pace. A stronger walk than the horse would offer. Ride the walk vs going for a walk ride. Those are 2 different things that both have purpose.
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