About Reading Here

About Sinja

  • Sinja, whose bones you see here, was a fine, darkbrown English thoroughbred mare, which I bought at age 38 to reconnect to my former life in the saddle. She was just the horse, which, some twenty-five years earlier, had carried me to a first, albeit small victory. Sinja started race training at the age of one-and-a-half. She won and placed in the German 'Ausgleich III and IV' age three to six and retired from racing at age seven. Efforts to breed her did not succeed, which was why I could buy her at age eleven. She was my favorite mount until her final retirement at age eighteen. Giving birth to a dog-size Anglo-Arabian filly at the age of twenty, she died at age twenty-five, surrounded by her group in the field, after a fracture of the left upper arm pierced her main artery. Despite and because of all that spoke against her (and us), I renamed her Sinja after purchase, which is short for 'Sinn-ja' (meaning as much as 'Makes Sense').

Riding Sinja

  • It was a pleasure to ride Sinja. To keep her balanced and at ease was concentration pure, and – while resting on her back fear was never far. Occasionally, during our rides in the forests, on the fields and down the paths, it occured to me that riding a sound, able German warmblood might hold greater promise. Something about the way she was empowered and practically flew, however, about her breeding, her honesty and lightness would not make me let her go. Only years later, after I saw Sinja’s skeleton prepared, some experiences began to make sense. Her fear of the ground corresponds to the damages in her backbone (kissing spines, arthrosis and deformations) and now speaks for itself. An unwillingness to work in the school like a ‘normal’ horse, a fear of other riders, and the danger that she might drop to the ground in moments of stress, speak to the extraordinary in accepting me on her back at all.

3D Sinja

  • Sinja’s skeleton returned to our house in segments. One hind leg was fully assembled, the others and the sternum as well as the rib's knorpel parts packed in bags. All were smelling suspiciously. During ensuing days, weeks and month I began to look at the skeleton, but only with the decision to create a virtual skeleton, that is model each bone individually in a 3D software program and assemble her bones there for further animations, did the inspection of exactly how the horse is made for riding take off fully. Please view the results of this inspection in these images. They are addressed as well in the captions. Images and captions illustrate ‘Elements of Equitation (2005)’, which provides context for these observations and relates them to equestrian practice, its history and current state. There is something to be said about the intensity, the beauty, the seamingly seamless utility of the horse’s skeleton, often combining two or more functions in one feature, always corresponding precisely to the human’s structure and physiology. I will not here reopen the creationists’ versus evolutionists’ debate, but state that having seen and now knowing of this particular perfection my pleasure of knowing its creator, the Redeemer and Lord of all is once again confirmed.


  • Preparing the illustrations for 'Elements of Equitation (2005)' a clean-up of damages and degenerations in twenty-five-year-old Sinja's skeleton seemed reasonable. This we did, with common sense, kinetics and esthetics as parameters, while testing the equine skeleton’s functions in the saddle daily, going for functional coherence and preparing as well for further scientific studies. In other word, the cleaned-up skeleton ‘Sinja/Ideal’ illustrates how in principles the horse is made for riding. None-the-less a detailed study of this skeleton's particularities… would be useful to... (to be completed soon)