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We’re Off to the Horse Summit!

This just in:

Jon Zahourek will be bringing his expertise and equine skeletons to Lexington, Kentucky—better known as the heart of horse country—later this year.

A four-hour, equine Anatomy in Clay® class will be offered as a very special elective at the Best Horse Practices Summit, announced Maddy Butcher, executive director of the Summit.

The Summit is an acclaimed two-day conference for professional and recreational horse riders and owners. It features academic and arena presentations in an intimate setting. While the conference is limited to 200 attendees, video recordings of all presentations are available to stream worldwide.

Summit director Maddy Butcher first learned of Anatomy in Clay® after watching this video on an equine anatomy course, narrated by Anatomy in Clay® student Olivia Arbogast.

“The whole learning concept resonated with me immediately,” said Butcher. “As a learner, I’ve always been challenged. Low stress, hands-on processes work best for me. As a conference director, I’m always looking to engage our attendees in ways that really stick. Building muscles on likenesses of horse skeletons will be brilliant for our audience.”

Zahourek, Butcher, and Summit presenter Jec Ballou met over the phone to design a custom program that would be especially relevant to the Summit crowd. They tailored the program to four hours on Friday, October 16. The session will cover the topline, that is, the muscles and ligaments running directly off the spine, from head to tail.

Ballou, an accomplished dressage rider and coach, will be on hand to help students connect what they are learning and building with what they experience in the saddle. She’s excited that this elective will offer added value and supplement what she is planning on presenting during the academic portion of the Summit.

“This is going to interface so well with what we’re teaching,” said Ballou.


Using quarter life-sized EQUIKEN® horse skeleton models, students will expand their understanding of the biomechanical range-of-motion involved in the flexion and extension of the galloping horse.

Teams of two participants will share skeletal anatomy models.

Each model focuses on the movements of the lumbar vertebrae, sacrum, pelvic girdle, and femurs in the standing horse, the flexion phase (or gather) of the gallop; and the extension phase of the gallop.

Students will first build the sacroiliac, sacrotuberous, iliolumbar, inguinal, and femoral head ligaments, then move to build belly or ventral muscles—quadratus lumborum, quadratus femoris, internal oblique, iliacus, psoas major and minor muscles. Finally, they will construct the top line (dorsal) muscles - multifidus, longissimus, gluteus minimus, and gluteus superficialis muscles.

Class size is limited to 24. Students must be registered for the Summit. Visit the Best Horse Practices Summit page here.








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