It seems as though most training methods today use an “Outline” mindset as a guideline. These methods of conditioning tend to push horses into a very basic, standardized outline (or sometimes, even more rudimentarily, only a topline). These horses are often made to go in flat, two-dimensional, “cookie-cutter” type shapes and tend to be either tense and anxious or “tuned out” and dull .
Many Outline horses also tend to lack an ease to their movement and seem to have a “dis-ease” to their way of going.
Horses developed using respectful philosophies (to which there are many approaches) have not only Outlines , but “Inlines” as well.
Focus on the details , the relaxation and fluidity (ease of movement) are primary concerns of any Inline-type philosophy.
Inline horsemanship considers the horse as a multi-dimensional whole and an individual, not as a two-dimensional arrangement of parts that requires assembly to become a standardized , artificial shape.
Inline horses tend to have more detail, depth and dimension and their ease of movement is obvious even to the untrained eye.
To ride using Inlines tends to not only require a basic idea of horse pyschology, but a knowledge of their anatomy as well.
Awareness of anatomy allows us to understand not only to understand each individuals capabilities , it also allows us to see the ease with which each horse carries itself as well as the “dis-ease” of their movement. This basic knowledge of the horses body and their body language makes tense, stressed and uncomfortable horses very easy to see.
There are many differences between Outline and Inline horses, one of the main differences is that Inline horses tend of have less riding-related disorders and lamenesses, as well as less stress-related “vices”.
Outline method horses tend to develop foot, tendon and digestive “dis-eases” and are often body sore as well. Most of these disorders stem from the tension, confusion and anxiety that horses learn from carrying the artificial shapes they are required to squeeze themselves into. “Tuned out” and dull Outline are often horses “on strike” from carrying those shapes and have become ” dull ” ( and often sore ) as a result of being over-worked and over-stimulated. Over-worked and over-stimulated results in strikes, any species.
A horse developed using an Inline philosophy (Remember: There are many approaches) tends to take longer than most fast-food Outline methods, as the ease of their responses and understanding is paramount. Since each horse is an individual , their minds and bodies aren’t expected to ” boot camp” a reaction within a deadline or time limit, they are developed at a rate they individually understand. Inline horses understand aids and respond from that understanding , they dont hastily search for answers to avoid consequences.
As a result of taking time and understanding, Inline horses tend to have less physical and emotional issues. Inline philosophies understand the importance of the horses overall well-being (physically, mentally and emotionally). Inline work understands that horses bodies are all that horses have, therefore a horse with a sound mind and body will learn and perform with more ease, as they feel secure, respected and cared for.
Horses will do anything for the security of their well-being, so letting horses have this natural right is a foundation of Inline work.
Ease within movements is very important to Inline work as well, as the ease with which movements are executed are their “lightness”.
“Lightness” is an easy response into movement via patience and understanding of the aids, not a touchy, fast reaction that has been bullied and disrepectfully conditioned.This is also why many “hot” or “troubled” horses respond well to respectful Inline work.
Speed and force have nothing to do with softness, as all meaningful things are done gently. Gently doesnt mean to be a pushover, as being truly gentle requires respect toward all parties involved.
Softness and lightness have nothing to do with leverage, pulleys and straps as it gives the responsibilty of communication inanimate objects.
Communication is animate.
Feel, patience and understanding are primary concerns of Inline philosophies, as movements are expected to be gently asked for and responded to many , many times in order to become soft.
Horses developed with Inlines have the depth, details, presence and dimensions to clearly see the ease with which they move.
Classic or traditional horsemanship (Inline philophies) have no deadlines in order to produce a product and ego is not part of the equation, as ego sours any communication.
Communication takes time, patience and understanding that all horses naturally possess both Outlines and Inlines.
– Peggy Parkes