VOLUME 22 • © HORSES For LIFE™ Magazine
A great deal of attention has been given to the horse’s abdominal muscles. In discussion groups, articles and texts, in the arena and in lessons, one will hear instructors and riders discussing the involvement of the stomach muscles in the riding process --the need for the horse to have good strong stomach muscles to help carry the rider.
This has been written about so much -- it is now accepted by many as common knowledge. Few would now refute these facts.
Sometimes something becomes discussed so much, and over and over again, that people come to believe in the validity of the information just from the sheer repetition of the number of times that idea or thought is expressed. This is just as true today as it has been in the past. We are all well aware that at one time everyone believed that the world was flat. Saying something again and again and/or hearing about it from many different sources does not make something necessarily true. We fail to realize that often some things that we see in the news through different resources, the information has not come from many different sources. Rather what tends to happen is that this same information is reprinted or repeated again and again. We often see this in the news media where one newspaper will come out with a particular story and other newspapers all across the globe will pick up the same story just rewriting the initial story, not necessarily going to the original sources of the story. Rewriting information has become quite popular even in research. When one examines many of the research papers that are currently out there, one will find that they are just re-digesting research that has already been done. They are not repeating the original experiments or doing experiments of their own but rather making conclusions based on someone else's work and then calling their own paper “research,” and whom others will go on to quote as a credible source.
We must be very wary of the information and facts that we accept as being valid and coming from a source that we can trust. Remembering always that truth is not necessarily found in the amount of repetition in which information can be found.
This is just as true in the equestrian world as it is in the common gossip pages of newspapers today or as it was in the time of Galileo. Many of us have heard of the concept that the horse requires strong stomach muscles to support the rider. Dr. Gerd Heuschmann challenges that concept.
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