Jean Luc Cornille--no stretching?

Seriously? Anyone familiar with this training philosophy? Currently being inflicted on a horse I know and he seems to be getting quite tight in his lower back…


If it’s not your horse, there is nothing much you can do.

The only thing you can do is raise awareness on any physical problems that are visible and suggest a real vet consultation. Be aware that JLC pretends he can cure/fix horses… so it might not work.

You could always suggest to the horse’s owner to find a better trainer, but it might not come across well. JLC followers are quite devoted… unfortunately.


I know two that are really devoted and won’t follow any other ideas/suggestions.

No stretching ever? I know some people who ascribe to the thought that young horses often benefit from going straight to work rather than expecting correct stretching since correct stretching takes balance and strength they often do not possess yet. However, everyone I’ve ever watched teach has always supported the benefit of post work stretching.

I know a bit about biomechanics and I find jlc to be an unreadable muddle. Even when he has a heading or statement that sounds interesting, if you try to read further it dissolves. And I am fully capable of reading high level academic texts :slight_smile: so when I say something is muddled and contradictory and leaves out key steps in logic, it’s not just that he uses big words and scares me off.

Anyhow folks that are drawn to trainers that pontificate mystify and garble things up tend to not think clearly themselves and often cannot distinguish between ideas that are difficult but coherent, and ones that are a hot mess, because most things confuse and puzzle them.

Just to say that if someone is following jlc then logic won’t work on them.

Anyhow not your horse not your problem. No one wants to hear from you whether they are following a Maestro like jlc or lessoning with a gal that used to be a groom for someone who was long listed for the national team 25 years ago.


Just because they are published does not mean they have something to say.


I agree. Not a biomechanics expert here, but on his style and nonsense.

There are some theories where I strongly agree with him on the basis. However, he then tries to use grandiose language and it’s almost as if HE doesn’t know what the words mean for what nonsense it becomes.

I do not WORK a horse in long and low (which I assume is what you mean by “stretching” - a term riders use across the board, but not really a correct one. However, of course I let them free walk with necks long and reaching forward, and believe in allowing them to lengthen outline as much as my crappy hands make it possible. I also do long and low after work, as it’s VERY beneficial to their muscles to allow that. Where I think working a horse in long and low is good, is that it lengthens instead of bunching them up as trying to ride them into a “frame” would do. However, it doesn’t actually loosen the lower back - it lifts the front of the spine, locked upward, when done on a horse who isn’t ready to do it well yet. So the more developed my horses, the longer and lower they can go, as their development allows them to stay lifted in the withers while just reaching.

The muscles build to work as they are being used. And must be built up differently to move differently. So when horses are ridden and worked long and low, they are building muscles to hold them on the forehand, and not building the muscles they need to be able to start to sit behind and lift their withers. It doesn’t mean there aren’t benefits to those long/low moments, though. Just different purposes than the gymnastic development of the horse. If the “it builds topline!” comments were true, western pleasure horses would have the best toplines around.

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In other words, if you can’t dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with bullsheet. :wink:


Was “Pesudoscience of Motion” already trademarked when this guy put up his shingle?

There’s a lot of talk of research and science on his website, but not a trace of the real thing.

How could there be?


When he gets into talking about the laws of physics, I’m always like, “Huh?” As I understood the article being discussed, he was arguing in a muddled way that riding the horse long and low puts more strain on the forelegs, doesn’t loosen the back, and therefore you should not do it. It left more questions unanswered than answered. When you’ve been working a horse for a while, how come it wants to stretch? Why does the gait feel bigger and looser after you’ve ridden it long and low for a few minutes? Doesn’t softness means that it follows your hand to whatever length to have the reins? Lots of horses see stretching as a reward, and it’s nice being able to reward your horse.


Stretching is absolutely part of a good schooling routine, and JLC is hopelessly muddled here.

There may be translation errors, since his first language isn’t English. But I also feel like he is the kind of blogger (and trainer) that has no meaningful contact in his life or work with a peer or anyone he has to be clear and explain himself with. So his ideas run on his own definitions of words, ideas, techniques, reality, that have little connection to a shared discourse about training.

And really who is he, other than someone with a self published blog? Yeah I know he has previous impressive riding credentials but at this point he has no connection with anyone.

All his website is a muddle. He may be correct sometimes and is certainly wrong sometimes but the argument and ideas in both cases are muddled and often illogical.


@Scribbler , like a broken clock, he has the chance to be right at least twice a day!

ETA: It is not less muddled in French…

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Shades of Craig Stevens, and they both look like sacks of spuds


Hahaha! I had forgot about him!!!

What a crock!


I’m not familiar with either of these trainers but I find it hard to believe they say no stretching…

It’s hard to know exactly what JLC is saying or what he might mean by stretching. I wouldn’t even put any effort into parsing it out because there is something fatally muddled and NQR about his written explanation of everything. He is an online maestro, not a real world trainer.

I don’t know much about Craig Stevens other than a few comments, rather meh, from folks who saw him do a local clinic years ago. I looked up his website to see if he said anything and all training content is locked down behind subscription so nothing one way or the other about stretching.

Perhaps the comment was just meant that they were both self proclaimed classical revivalists that don’t quite fully understand the material?

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Craig Stevens;

I mean, he’s a real world “trainer” inasmuch as he does actually do a fair amount of riding, clinics, etc. in the real world (unlike some other online maestros). Based on what I’ve seen of him (some non-dressage folks brought him in for a clinic at a barn I was at a few years ago, and I overheard some of the goings-on), I think scare quotes around “real trainer” are appropriate, just like they might a little honesty to the “Science” of Motion slogan.

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I knew someone who started drinking JLC’s kool-aid, but it was just a phase. I only got to witness little segments here and there but IIRC she spent many many months walking with her horse inverted and completely backed off the aids, whereas the horse had not been that way before. He was reliably schooling 2nd and 3rd before all that. After some time she faded back into her original schooling and training routine…

Like others have said, if the horse isn’t yours or a part of your program, there isn’t much you can do… But I’m guessing you knew that already. Maybe you can sneak in some gentle carrot stretches in the stall? :o