On August 5, 2019, it was reported in all mainstream media that celebrated American coach, equestrian, and chef d’equipe for the American Olympic show jumping team had been listed as permanently ineligible (subject to appeal) by the United States Center for SafeSport and the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) because of sexual misconduct involving a minor that occurred some 50 years ago. The knee-jerk reaction from thousands in the equestrian community was shock and dismay, and 81-year-old Morris posted his immediate response online:
It’s now nearly 150 years since the Great Chicago Fire, which, according to popular legend, broke out after Catherine O’Leary’s infamous milking cow kicked over a lantern in the barn on the night of October 8, 1871. The resulting barn fire, aided by the wind, destroyed three square miles of the City of Chicago, killing approximately 300 people, destroying 18,000 buildings, and leaving 100,000 people – a third of the city’s population – homeless before it was finally brought under control the next day.
Today, we get to hang out in one of the most thrilling, complex and well-built skeletal structures in the body, the thoracic cage. While thrilling might be a stretch unless you’re an anatomy geek like me, suffice it to say that this region and its resilient, flexible function has potential implications in respiration, saddle fit, behaviour, body control, bending, collection, energy levels, the ability to be symmetrical and free in movement, and more. And I’m not just talking about your horse.
“I had a home-bred [Morgan] gelding named Duncan,” says Tina Collins, office administrator, Canadian Morgan Horse Association. “Duncan was the type of horse that had to investigate everything. He not only had a humorous personality, but he was incredibly trustworthy and a superior trail horse.
The relationship between our horses and their joints can feel scary, conjuring up words like “arthritis” and “lameness.” Our focus on joint function and integrity, including how this plays a role in a healthy hoof mechanism and legs, is designed to create a knowledgeable foundation to support your horse for years to come.